I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this is some sort of message to be environmentally friendly by unplugging your cell phone charger when it’s not in use so it doesn’t sit there drawing power all day.
Well, sure, there is that. But my message to you today is a matter of life and death. My concern is not that you are draining life from our planet Earth, but that you may very well be putting your life — and the lives of others — at risk, not to mention the much bigger issue of possibly contributing to the complete destruction of the human race.
Okay. So now at this point you probably think I’m completely off my rocker. To that I can only say that you are completely off your rocker if you don’t unplug your cell phone charger when it’s not in use! Please, I beg of you, unplug your cell phone chargers!
“Why?” you ask? I know of no other way to provide a proper answer to that without sharing with you my own experience of a plugged-in cell phone charger gone awry. I would, at this time, now share with you a story. A story that may leave you sickened, possibly to the point of vomiting. But it’s a story that must be told, no matter how grotesque.
The year was 2004. I had just started working at a new start up company, and I was loving it. That’s where I met a marketing intern who, for the sake of anonymity and privacy, I’ll refer to as “Ryan Roberto.”
Our supervisor, “Clark Winegarth” (again, name changed for privacy) had a tyrannical management style, which will become an important factor later on in this story.
Now Ryan kept a cell phone charger at work which he left plugged in at all times. I attempted to warn him on several occasions that he should unplug it when not in use because a charge builds up within the charging unit. I explained to Ryan my concern that one day he would plug his phone into the charger and the unit, upon having a completed circuit within which it could release all its energy, would explode.
Ryan ignored my concerns. Well, actually he didn’t ignore them. He made fun of them. So great was his belittling of my concerns, that I had to excuse myself to the corner of the office where I shed a single tear in sorrow and sadness.
Upon regaining my composure, I walked into Clark’s office and expressed my concern to him. After hearing me out, Clark thought for a moment. That’s when a crazed looked came about him. He leapt from his chair, grabbed me forcefully by my shirt, and pulled me in close so as to ensure that I could hear his words while he screamed at the top of his lungs, “You want to see an explosion of energy?!”
He then released me and turned away. As I wiped the spittle from my face, Clark grabbed an unopened package of Big League Chew chewing gum and ripped it open. Then, as I watched in astonishment, Clark opened his mouth wide, poured the entire contents of the package into his mouth and began chewing furiously. Then, unsatisfied with the quantity, he grabbed another bag of Big League Chew and poured its entire contents into his mouth.
This was beginning to seem like a surrealistic joke to me, so I turned to leave. But Clark would have none of it. He screamed at me, though with his mouth so full I failed to understand a single word uttered. Nonetheless, I got the message. I discontinued my egress and stayed.
That’s when company cofounders “Jer Core” and “Brandon Willsmith” entered the room.
As Jer and Brandon entered to see what was going on, rather than stopping what was an absolutely despicable display of puerility, they began to cheer Clark on. Stupefaction overcame my mind as I could do nothing else but watch as my supervisor attempted to choke himself to death on chewing gum.
By this point, Clark’s mouth was foaming as he attempted to keep buckets of saliva from flowing out the corners of his mouth (which was now beginning to more resemble gills). Apparently satisfied, he spat — with a great deal of effort — the gigantic wad from his mouth and into his hand.
Letting out a mighty war cry, Clark threw the wad with all his might at an office window. As saliva flew in every direction, the wad stuck itself to the window with a nauseating splat. Jer and Brandon, instead of being disappointed at the childish destruction of property, began to dance about.
Jer screamed that the third founding member of the company, “Dave Grayson,” needed to be in on the games. Dave was in another state at the time, so they called him via Skype so he could witness the insanity that was being pursued.
Jer and Brandon then each grabbed their own packages of Big League Chew. In what I can only describe as an insanity-fueled ceremony of ineptitude and complete lack of any level of intelligence beyond that of a brainless clam, the two cofounders, with the third looking on from a computer screen, reproduced Clark’s inane performance.
By this time, Ryan had entered to see what all the fuss was about. Gazing upon the three colored wads of gum upon the window, he reached out to grab Clark’s potato-powered clock. Removing the clock’s leads from the potato, Ryan then plugged the leads into one of the wads of chewing gum. The clock powered on and began to display the time.
Clark turned to me and screamed, “You see? There’s your explosion of energy right there!”
The five of them then burst out in a fit of laughter which carried on for the rest of the work day. I spent the next several weeks being constantly antagonized by every employee in the office, often with statements such as, “Don’t work too hard. You might explode!” and “Did your mom explode when she gave birth to you?”
Fortunately, Clark and Ryan were called off to an industry conference being held on the other side of the country. I would be allowed at least a week’s worth of peace from the two.
The week passed faster than I would have liked. Upon their return, Ryan came into the office and knelt down to plug his cell phone into its charger. That’s when I realized, with the greatest of anxiety, that the cell phone charger had been plugged in for the entire week!
“Ryan,” I screamed, “wait!” But it was too late. He had already plugged his phone in.
To my surprise, the charger failed to explode. Ryan just gave me a look of disgust and went to sit in his chair to begin working. But before he could, his cell phone chimed, indicating it was fully charged.
“Wait, it’s charged already?” Ryan asked, puzzled. “It was at 3% charge just a moment ago!”
“Quick Ryan,” I whispered in terror, “unplug the charger!”
And, right at that moment, a strange being appeared in the doorway of our office. It was short, about 4′ tall. A head that was too large for its gray body sat upon narrow shoulders. Frozen in fear, Ryan and I just stood in disbelief at what we were looking upon.
The being raised an arm to point out the window. I managed, with great difficulty, to turn my eyes to gaze upon a roughly Hummer-sized craft floating just outside our office window. My throat tightened as I feared the end of my life.
Then, the gray being reached both arms out towards Ryan’s cell phone charger. We witnessed some kind of physical connection as energy could be seen flowing from the charger and into the gray being’s body. The alien’s body began to emit waves of energy that distorted the air around it. As the whole room began to crackle with energy, the being suddenly disappeared from our environment.
Released from paralysis, I turned to the window where I could still see the craft, it now being surrounded by the same energy distortion we previously saw about the alien being. It continued to float for just a moment when in a bright blinding flash of light the craft disappeared from our vision, presumably to the outer reaches of deep space.
Ryan and I looked at each other, simultaneously realizing the reality of what we had just witnessed. It became clear to us that an alien race of space-faring beings were drawing energy from our plugged in cell phone chargers to power an imminent attack on the Earth, the goal of which is to enslave all of mankind and force us to conduct mining operations to benefit the alien race.
Ryan and I raced to the office of “Neal Jenkins,” the company’s lead designer. We explained what we had seen. We begged him to design the terrifying images that occurred to us that day. I’m sure he’ll deliver some day.
Until then, let this story stand as warning: unplug your cell phone chargers when not in use!