While most modern phones throw a hissy fit if you use them inside a building that has walls thicker than tissue paper, (bad luck for anyone not currently starring in a samurai-era revenge movie), we’ve found three which kept ringing in situations most machines would have given up. Machines including Terminators, and Terminators sent back in time to be trained by Rambo.
1. Bringing a Phone To Gunfight
In the least profitable gun crime since stealing bullets by charging armed police officers and catching them in your body, two men opened fire on the front of Atlanta nightclub. This was bad news for valet John Garber since his entire job description was “stand in front of it.” One bullet punched through his coat and was about to repaint the wall with a striking shade of red when his HTC took the hit instead:
It’s an update of the “cigarette case in the pocket” trope, with the advantage that it’s believable because it kind of happened. And unlike smoking, the phone doesn’t sgradually kill the user over a longer timescale, so everyone’s a winner, kind of. It’s also an excellent reverse of brand loyalty with the phone serving the user. A windows phone would have patched the hole two years after it happened, while an iPhone would probably have dived out of the way and sternly warned the dying owner that blood had invalidated his warranty.
2. Crocodile-Skin Case
The world’s only acceptable Crocodile-skin phone case is currently on display in the Dnipropetrevosk aquarium.
Rimma Golovko was trying to take a picture of the crocodile when she lost her Nokia, and considering how she was stretching her arm over the safety railings to get a close up of the crocodiles massively open mouth, she should consider herself lucky that’s all she lost. Darwin, on the other hand, considers this one a “miss.” Aquarium staff refused to believe her until the handset turned into a stomachset, proving every other piece of hardware in the world a pansy by ringing inside the animal.
Since then Gena hasn’t been acting the same, refusing to play with his fellow crocodiles and sitting around unproductively instead of focusing on his work (which generally consists of eating things.) This has been taken as a sign that “Snake” was installed on the phone, but brave veterinarians are confident they can get it out one way or the other. At the moment they’re still hoping the phone will pass “naturally”, as surgery means going up against an angry crocodile in a “cutting with sharp things” competition. And you don’t need seven years in medical school to know that should never be your first choice.
3. Karma Calling (to) Collect
We’re electronic alchemists because we’re going to turn one of the worst digital annoyances into smiles for the rest of your life. Automated phone company text messages are usually a more soulless robotic interruption than a Cyberman catching you on the toilet, but one Russian network saved dozens of lives with a “Happy New Year” text which foiled a terrorist plot.
A suicide bomber aiming for Red Square on New Year’s Eve was preparing her bomb belt and, as if having blowing herself to pieces as a New Year’s resolution didn’t tell you how intelligent she was, she also had the ignition system turned on. And because murderers whose entire plan is “not be here tomorrow” tend to be less than reliable, many suicide belts are operated by remote. In this case a cellphone was meant to be triggered by an observer but a network “Happy New Year!” message set the whole thing off early, redecorating one terrorist safe house in a way which made that noun extremely inaccurate.