THE BLOG

Charger Recall: A 'Powerful' Parental Nightmare

04/09/2014 04:53 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2014
  • Greg Schwem Corporate comedian, Business emcee, Author, 'The Road to Success Goes Through the Salad Bar"

I applaud the 7 million plus Americans who acquired insurance under the Affordable Healthcare Act before the March 31 deadline. As a longtime Blue Cross member, I know having that little card in my wallet brings piece of mind even if it is useless in tackling a new disease entering our society.

Neglected by the mainstream media and lacking government funding, this affliction will undoubtedly get worse as technology evolves and our young people continue adding assorted electronic devices to their beings.

I'm referring to "charger recall," the sudden inability to remember where a power source for an electronic device is located.

My daughters are deep in the throes of charger recall, exhibiting all the symptoms: the frantic fumbling through clothes piles, the moving of furniture that hides an outlet where the precious charging device may have been left, and the glassy stares that result upon realizing their iPhones are dead. The begging inevitably begins.

"Dad, can I borrow your charger? I'm sure Mary, Kimberly, Jessica, Madeline and Nicole are all trying to text me."

"I have an Android. It won't work with the iPhone. Didn't we discuss this the last time you lost your charger? By the way, where did you find it?"

"In my sock drawer. And yes, I've already looked there."

Desperate for a solution, my wife and I have resorted to counseling in an effort to cure their ills. I thought my initial idea would put them on the road to recovery.

"Let's put all the chargers in a single box. That way, when you need one, you'll always know where to look."

But, as any parent with daughters knows, that's no different than suggesting they neatly stack their shoes on a shelf by the door or hang their coats on hooks that dad painstakingly installed one weekend. The shelves and hooks remain empty while I continue finding clothing and footware in the most unlikely of places. I'll spare you the details of how a soccer jersey ended up in an outdoor planter.

Mornings are the worst. Luckily, we have a sympathetic bus driver, one willing to momentarily idle while we locate sandals. He knows the signal: one finger from me means "She found it. She's coming!" An annoyed hand flick means, "Go ahead. Your entire bus will have to repeat a grade if you continue waiting."

In my children's defense, the makers of popular kid-friendly devices like iPads, iPods, Kindles, Game Boys and the like did not help matters once they signed a secret pact in blood stating no two chargers would ever be exactly alike. While some may look identical, trust me, there is a microscopic pin, prong or tine unique to all of them, much like snowflakes. Even the most brilliant computer hardware engineer would develop a migraine helping his children locate the wall charger for the 4S, which may or may not be compatible with the cord for the 4G, which probably won't fit the base of the 4E. And the entire search will soon be useless because the 5dx4 is probably being shipped as I write this. One of its unique features is undoubtedly a charger a quarter the size of previous models.

I've begun depositing outdated chargers in a recycling bin at my local Best Buy. I'm not sure what they do with them but may I suggest tying all the cables together, fastening the world's largest noose and wrapping it around the necks of any Apple developer currently contemplating another design change that requires a never-before-seen charger. Already rumors about the upcoming iPhone 6 are flying across the Internet: Morphing technology! A wraparound display! Quad HD resolution! More technical phrases we made up just so you'll upgrade!

Personally I don't care if the new iPhone contains a bottle opener and a corkscrew. I just want it to include a battery that recharges itself when it makes contact with socks. My children will be eternally grateful.

So will their bus driver.

Copyright © 2014 Greg Schwem distributed by Tribune Content Services, Inc.