Whilst walking to sainsbury’s today (don’t get your hopes up, this isn’t another one of my highly popular Sainsbury’s anecdotes, sorry) I got a phone call from a woman asking me if I’d had an accident that wasn’t my fault or if I was looking to claim compensation for anything. Alas, she wasn’t keen to explore damages for loss of time and potential earnings, due to rogue messages for the other David Eagle. Nor was she interested in helping me get compensation from the man on the train who had drenched me in his spit. That spit might be riddled with all sorts of germs that could potentially give me some disease; but she wasn’t willing to represent me in such matters.
She seemed a bit down about the fact that I hadn’t been in any serious accidents, so I asked her whether a car crash might count, and she suddenly perked up, which was charming of her. She gleefully asked me to tell her about the crash. I told her that I hadn’t had one yet, but said that I might be willing to, if there was a good chance of getting compensation. We could keep it hush hush, just between me, her, and the wall; literally.
At that exact moment, with uncanny timing, two cars sped past each other, sounding their horns. I think it might have freaked out the woman from the solicitors because when the noise of the horns dissipated and I was able to hear the phone again, she had gone. Perhaps she thought I had actually decided to crash into a wall in order to get compensation.
My friend used to have an app on his phone that could play background sounds to the caller, meaning that you could pretend to be in a different location to the one that you were actually in. I remember he called me up once and told me that he was in a forest being chased by wolves. Sure enough, there were the sounds of wolves in the background, although his prank wasn’t at all convincing because he’d forgotten to do any panting or running.
I suppose this app could have some useful, practical purposes. You should be at work, but you fancy a lie in, so you could call your boss and say you were running late due to being stuck in a really massive traffic jam. You could play the sounds of beeping car horns to make it seem as if you actually were in a traffic jam, when in fact you are still in bed. Similarly you could have a background soundtrack that sounds like you’re in a really brutal crash, which would be useful in freaking out annoying cold callers asking you if you’ve had an accident. Of course, you need to be wary when using such an app, in case your finger slips and you accidentally choose the wrong sound, meaning that you suddenly have to improvise a scenario to your boss in which you’re being chased through a forest by wolves.
Another feature that I think should come with phones is a button that when pressed will sound your ringtone, so that you can get out of awkward or annoying conversations with people. This would have come in really handy yesterday with the talkative man on the train spitting at me. I could have subtly reached into my pocket, pressed the button on my phone, the phone would ring and I would have a way of getting out of conversing with him.
Obviously this might get a bit awkward if you’re in the middle of talking, pretending to be on the phone, and then someone actually does call you and the phone rings, meaning that your cover is blown. But you could easily circumvent such an issue by having a feature that warns you that an incoming call is happening, only there is a delay of five seconds before the phone begins to ring. This would then give you enough time to wrap up your pretend conversation, say goodbye, go to put your phone back in your pocket, only for it to start ringing again. You could then get your phone out of your pocket and act all surprised, saying something like, “what a coincidence, I’ve literally just this second got off the phone to Nigel.” Notice how I invented a name there, just to give my pretext even more credibility.
Maybe Apple should think about doing something useful like that, rather than messing around with headphone sockets. There are so many occasions when such a feature would rescue me from awkward situations. Still, I suppose if I didn’t have strange garrulous men on trains spitting at me, then I wouldn’t have anything to write about, so maybe it’s for the best that such a feature does not exist on my phone.