Monday, July 16, 2012
He was on a weekend camp out with his Uncle Scott, a Viet Nam war vet. Jeff himself was a veteran of Gulf War I , and for years it had been a tradition to come camping with his uncle, whom he had grown closer to after his own military adventure in Asia.
He finally gave up, and assumed he had left his phone at their campground site, and when they got back from the store, went into his tent to look for the device that he had become addicted to, but seemed to always be losing. No iPhone here either. He borrowed his uncle's iPhone and called his number. No ring sound either.
Maybe he could use one of those apps that could find your iPhone! He was happy he had decided against better judgment and had sprung for the more expensive 4GLTE version, and soon he was was looking at a map of the area and lo and behold, there was the red dot indicating his iPhone!
He started walking in the direction that the GPS tracker was pointing him in and soon he came upon another campground, he looked up and saw about 7-8 boys who looked older than high schoolers but too young to be called men.
They were the stereotypical gangbangers, with short buzzcut hair, white wifebeater undershirts, and tattoos on their necks and each knuckle of each hand.
They were all Hispanic and rough looking. Jeff immediately recognized one of the boys from the convenience store and deduced he must have been the one who had lifted his iPhone there.
He went up to boy and said,
"Dude, did you by chance pick up my iPhone by mistake in the convenience store a couple of minutes ago?"
"I don't have your phone man." the boy replied cold and somewhat rude.
"Look man, I don't want any trouble, OK? I can see the phone is here on my iPad, so just hand it over and we can forget all about this, OK?", Jeff said, trying to get this over with as soon as possible.
"I told you man, I don't have your phone! Now fuck off!" the boy fired back.
Now his friends had perked up and began approaching Jeff slowly.
"Yeah man, why don't you be a good puto and fuck off! One of them sneered at Jeff.
Jeff looked at them and realized that he was outnumbered and although he was 6 foot 2 and could have given them a good run for it, he was not going to be ale to take all of them on by himself. So he backed off and went back to his campground. While the boys laughed.
Back at their campsite, Jeff told his Uncle Scott about what happened. Scott was furious and demanded that they go back and get his iPhone now. Jeff called the police and when he told them what had happened, the police told him that they weren't going to come all the way out there for a lost iPhone.
Jeff went to the campground next door to see if he could muster some help. A big black man Rahim was camping with his family, his wife and 2 teenage girls who were playing cards at the campground table, and when he heard what had happened, said,
"You know, it's been a long while since I cracked me some skulls, let's go get your phone man"
On the way, they stopped by the campground managers office, and a Hispanic man came out. Jeff rolled his eyes, there was probably no way he would help. But before he could begin to explain, Rahim said,
"Those motherfuckin Mexicans stole his phone man!" , then stopped short and added, "no offense man...".
The manager looked at Jeff and Rahim and the seething Scott, and then back at Rahim, and said,
"No man, they give us Mexicans a bad name, let's go!"
Off they went. When they got to the boys' campground tensions immediately rose and this time when the boy who denied having Jeff's iPhone walked up to him to confront him again, Jeff grabbed him by the shirt and said,
"Look, give me my iPhone and like I said, this will be over!" The boy reached in his pant pocket and pulled out Jeff's iPhone, but instead of giving it to Jeff, threw it into the camp fire!
At that point all hell broke loose, Rahim began tossing Mexicans like firewood, the manager had two of them each in a headlock and was screaming Spanish obscenities, mostly infused with "tu madre" and "puto".
Uncle Scott had gone full PTSD and with a crazed look in his eyes had one of the boys cornered saying, "Oh yeah! bring it on motherfucker!" over and over again.
After the beatings were over the J-team backed away and went back to their campground.
As they left, one of the boys yelled,
"Hey! We're going to get you, I'll bring my Glock and shoot you later tonight!" to which Uncle Scott yelled "Go right ahead asshole! I've got my SKS with 60 rounds!" Jeff yelled,"Yeah and don't forget my AR15 as well Uncle Scott, but mine only has a 20 round clip though!"
After they got back to their camp, Jeff decided to call the police again and report the stolen iPhone as destruction of private property. This worked and about an hour later a patrol car rolled to a stop at their campground. When the officer stepped out of the cruiser, then entire car squeaked and raised up about 6 inches higher.
"Jeez it's hot!" the wheezing cop said as he wiped the sweat off his bald head. After he took down Jeff's statement, he asked him where the boys' campground was.
"Oh, and they threatened to come shoot us with their Glock tonight." Jeff mentioned just as the cop was about to start walking. "Did you say Glock?" the cop asked nervously, he was sweating even more now.
When they got to the campground as they approached,the cop took out his own gun, looked at it, then back at Uncle Scott and Jeff, shook his head, and put his gun back in his holster, took out his pen and pad, and told them to follow him into the campground.
Seeing the cop, the boys became scared and were now cooperative. The cop asked if they had brought any guns and to let him see their permits and licenses. The boys brought out 4 handguns, 2 of which were Glocks as promised. As he examined their IDs and paperwork, the cop motioned for Jeff and Uncle Scott to come over.
"OK, keep an eye on them while I run these through the computer in the my car."
A that point Uncle Scott took over and before anyone could say anything, he pulled the SKS out on its strap from his neck, cocked the bolt and yelled,
"OK! Every one of you cocksuckers down on the ground, NOW!"
The cop sighed and looked at Jeff resignedly with a look of "Really?", and trudged back to his car. After a few minutes, he came back, pulled Jeff to the side and said,
"OK, I've just called in for backup, 4 of them have outstanding warrants, so they are all going in, tell your uncle to keep an eye on them for a while longer."
The next morning, Jeff went back to the now empty boys campgrounds, and kicked aside the ashes in the now dead fire, and saw his iPhone sticking out halfway buried in the black and grey ashes. The battery had exploded and was oozing a reddish fluid, the glass had shattered and was completely burned through. Jeff wiped it off and put it in his back pocket and went back to his uncle at their campground.
Later when he got back home, Jeff pulled out his burnt iPhone and looked at it sadly. Suddenly his eyes lit up and he quickly opened the sim card slot to check it out, maybe it had survived! The wafer thin card slid out of the slot and Jeff examined it carefully holding it up to the light of a desk lamp. He excitedly pulled out his old iPhone 3 from a desk drawer, and slid in the card carefully, and prayed as he powered up his old phone.
The familiar Apple startup icon appeared, and Jeff's face turned from anxious hope to a relieved grin as all of his information restored itself gloriously to the old round bottomed iPhone 3.
Several days later, when Jeff told me this story, I asked him,
"So, are you now going to get another 4S, or are you going to wait for the 5?"
"What do you think, puto?" Jeff said and grinned.