iPod Shuffle: washable, or not?

Technically, it’s washable . . . I mean, it didn’t DISSOLVE or anything.


I thought I was so smart, pulling Hubby’s fancy ($85!!) exercise pants (I know–who’d have thought you could find them at that price?*) out of his gym bag late last night and washing them on “hand washable” in cold water. They seemed a little heavy, but they have drawstrings and hidden pockets, so whatever. And then the washer stopped. . . .

And my mother came into the kitchen with a stricken expression and a handful of twisty tangled cords. “What’s this?” she whispered.

I took my soapy gloves out of the dishwater. One glance told me what it was . . . it was Hubby’s iPod shuffle (newish) on its little neck string and with its little glittery earbuds, but the string and buds had made a huge snarl and everything was . . . WET.

No other way to say it. DROWNED! (Or “drownded,” as my friend’s toddler says when she pulls her bath toys from the bottom of the hot tub.)

Hubs was in the Lair playing his game, of course, so we just stared at the device together for a moment; we hadn’t been caught. Frantically we worked at the knots and got everything untangled. “It looks all right, except for being WET,” I ventured.

Then I did something REALLY stooopid. Especially for a nerd who got an “A” in Circuits I. (All right, DC circuits and not the far more difficult AC circuits course, but still . . . unless I miss my guess, the iPod is a DC device, as it runs on a battery. Dry ones do, I mean.)

Yeah. I pressed PLAY “to see if it would work.”

Of course the little green light came on. It’s on the back of this little stick-of-gum media player. But no sound came out of the earbuds. “Maybe it’s just that the buds are ruined,” I said. The green light went off. I pressed PLAY again (I hear the slaps of flesh-on-palm as every engineer reading this goes *FACEPALM*) and the green light managed to stay on for a few seconds. Then it went off.

And it wouldn’t come on again.

Belatedly, Dum-Dum here realized that one never turns on a WET circuit-board device. No. It Is Not Done. Bad idea. Still, she had caught me half-dozing and zoned out over a sink of dirty dishes, just before I was to take my diabetes meds and stuff for the night, and I know my blood sugar was low.


“Here, let’s just drop it into the bottom of the gym bag and pretend we don’t know anything about it.” My mother has 70+ years of sneaking and conniving to her credit. You will not pull a fast one on this woman that she has not thought of herself first. “No, wait. We’ll throw it into the back of my bottom dresser drawer and it can be ‘lost.'” He loses things. In fact, he just found this again after about a month of trying to find it. (It was in his computer room under a stack of manuals.)

“Wait. . . .” I ran to the computer room (where hubster was killing aliens to a very LOUD soundtrack from Eve Radio–I think it was “headbangers VS deathmetal” night) and quickly Googled up “ipod shuffle water.”

The page results assured me that indeed, the iPod would shuffle right into the water . . . and drown.

But a good number of people said that after they’d dried theirs out, it worked again. Others said that they had to do an iPod restore, but after that it started working. However, they ALL said not to turn it on “to see if it’s OK” until it dries.

I printed the first page or two off of the Apple “you are an id10t” page and scurried back to the slave-pantry, pretending I had only printed an e-mail from the prayer list (we are on a mailing list where people ask for your prayers, and usually we do our praying in the late evening). Of course Hubby and pals were too busy saving the omniverse for him to notice my visit.

We studied the page. “I thought of suggesting the hair dryer,” she said mournfully, “but I figured you’d say, ‘How stooopid!'”

“Mgplfff.” I studied the iPod. String still saturated. Earbuds still plugged in.

“Maybe no water could get inside it. It was in that cargo pocket. And I don’t see any holes.”

“Mmpphh.” I studied the page again.

“Give him yours.”

“Mine is a video iPod. A big square silver thing that weighs lots more than this. This is for his cardio rehab exercise time.”

We dropped the possibly-ruined gadget into the bottom of his gym bag. Yes, we are cretins. We are sinful. We are cowards.

After finishing up the rest of the slavework that is required to take care of (in some sense) a big ol’ Casa el Dumpo and its loads of laundry, dishes, and junk mail, I realized that I **do** have an iPod shuffle. It’s in the zippered pocket of one of my tote bags. I remember now: he bought TWO of them when he found them on sale somewhere and was in an expansive mood. This was back when I hadn’t been converted to the idea of MP3s at all (I am still a snotty audiophile, but I have to admit that the lack of pops and hiss appeals to me, and if the stuff’s ripped at CD quality, it’s really no “colder” than a CD) and he was campaigning for a house-wide media streaming network (we got a cheapie version, but I don’t like the way it works and all the delays, so we might eventually get an expensive version.) So! All I have to do is. . . .

Find that tote. I may not have mentioned here that I have accumulated an impressive collection of tote bags. For some reason, I have bought all manner of totes. And every time I have attended a convention (writers’ or SF) or a trade show (computer stuff), I have gotten another. Most of these I have used for a while, until the next “OMG so cute has photo of LOLcats on it” comes along, and so I have stuffed the existing tote somewhere in one of the closets. Usually, the tote keeps some of its stuff inside, as I don’t really admit that I’m abandoning it when I first get the new one. Left behind in the pockets and crannies of the old one will be stuff like a Bonne Bell DrPepper Lip Smacker, a coin purse full of pennies, a rolled-up pair of pantyhose inside a Baggie, a couple of packages of Medifast crackers or a meal bar, or . . . an iPod shuffle.

I’ll find it as soon as he goes off to exercise. Probably. Then when he comes home shouting that his iPod isn’t working, I can say, “Oh, well, here, have mine . . . I have the big one now.” And just blithely hand it over. Too bad that he either has to reload it or listen to an endless playlist of Bobby Darin, the Monkees, the Beatles, Bob Dylan with The Band, and Allan Sherman.

I suppose I should just confess. He’s a computer whiz. He’s the guru of his department. He has worked IT and software and hardware and whatever-ware you can think of. Maybe he can take it to work and take it apart in the lab and fix it. Maybe I should confess before he tries to turn it on again and shorts out the circuit board for sure.

(Maybe I could go buy a new one and then take THIS one back as defective–no! No! Why do sins occur to me as a matter of course? Why would I *do* that? Wickedness is a mere sneak away. *shakes virtual head* *virtual head is smarter than instantiated physical version*)

But anyway . . . wasn’t that a funny story that is NOT FUNNY AT ALL to the poor pitiful iPod or its erstwhile owner?

Anyone ever revive a drowned iPod?

Any advice, other than “change your name to Fifi and move to Bora Bora” (which is what one of my co-workers at USData always used to say she was going to do whenever the pu-pu hit the fan-fan)?

* (You have forgotten about that footnote by now, I expect, but he bought $ALMOST $100 exercise pants. He went to his first day of cardiac rehab and came home saying, “Everyone else had these other kind of pants . . . nobody was wearing gray sweat pants . . . I have to get the kind they have.” This is the guy whom strangers mistake for the janitor on a typical workday . . . the one who doesn’t think it’s unreasonable to wear the same jeans until they crawl away one night after he’s shucked them in the corner near the hamper (never INSIDE the hamper) . . . the guy who says, “This’ll be fine–I don’t want to spend money on another shirt just because this one has stains and holes!” I don’t know where the attack of Must Look Like Other Kids came from, but because we had just had the health scare and I was still spoiling him, we went out to one of those exercise stores and got him these magic exercise pants. They can only be washed on “delicate” and hung out to dry. But anyhow, they make him happy. And they have a cargo pocket just right for a music player. . . .)


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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