Does the Ziploc bag filled with rice trick work on cars?

I should have known better than to publicly declare my car fixed without first driving it around for longer than a week or two following its last repair job.

But I did.

And it’s not.

I blame my premature optimism on the kind of wishful thinking that’s born out of a desperate need for a repair to go right. But the unfortunate fact is, my car is better at frustrating me than our dog Rodney is when he suddenly starts barking and twirling around in circles if my wife even glances at her walking shoes.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that after a lengthy repair process that included two new transmissions and an engine harness, a simple brake switch was all my car needed to fix a quirk I’ve been putting up with for more than a year.

It didn’t.

Fortunately, the more expensive repairs were done while my car was still under warranty. Otherwise, we’d be so broke I would probably be standing over Rodney’s food bowl right now seriously considering whether a little water would soften his kibbles enough to keep from shattering my teeth.

My car notwithstanding, at least the repair gods have not totally abandoned me. The new shower handle we’ve been test driving lately is showing no sign of the kind of quirk that afflicts my vehicle. By that I mean we’re able to turn the water off and on at will instead of watching it cascade unchecked as if it were Blackwater Falls. I had to install the new handle after the old one broke the day we left for a weekend getaway last month.

And just this week, I averted a cell phone disaster.

It happened when our daughter came home from school thirsty for the lemonade I like to keep in the refrigerator when it’s hot and humid outside. She somehow mistook her phone for the glass she had taken down from the cupboard and doused it.

The first sign that something had gone awry in our kitchen came when I heard her yelp for help. When I arrived she was standing in a pink puddle of lemonade, frantically drying her phone with a kitchen towel.

At first, I wasn’t focused on her troubles. I was more concerned about the floor. I had just mopped it an hour or so earlier and I was busy coming to terms with having to do it again.

A few minutes later, though, it finally dawned on me that our daughter’s phone may have been damaged. I figured that out when she complained that its speaker wasn’t working.

Her revelation alarmed me so much that my emergency cell phone saving skills kicked in. We dashed back into the kitchen and quickly threw the phone into a Ziploc bag filled with rice to draw the moisture from it.

But once we sealed the bag, we realized we had overlooked a key step. We forgot to turn off the phone. That’s sort of important if you want to avoid a short.

We had to unseal the bag, turn off the phone and then reseal it, again.

In the end, our efforts paid off. When our daughter got home from school the next day, we booted up her phone and it was like new.

In fact, the trick worked so well, I’m thinking of stuffing my car inside a Ziploc bag filled with rice.

Goodness knows I’ve tried everything else.


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