Jenny Linsky and Her Friends
September Came and Went


I drove down to the beach Saturday - the first time I've driven that far alone in years, and the first time I've taken Rinaldo on a long drive. I confess that I was a little nervous, but I reminded myself that I used to drive long distances alone all the damn time and I would be fine. Besides, unlike in my circus days, I had a phone. I'd be able to summon help with the tap of a finger. (DUN DUN DUN)

So I kissed Joe goodbye, loaded my totebag in the trunk, and hooked up my phone so that I could charge it up as I drove. Then I stowed it snugly upside down in the adjacent cupholder and took off down the road.

Just as I merged onto the expressway, my phone rang. I have it paired with the car's bluetooth so that I can talk hands free, so I pressed the answer button.

"Hello," says I.

"How can I help you?" says the Nice Lady.

"I don't know; you called me!" I reply, jokingly. Well, maybe a teeny tiny bit snarkily, because I thought it was a spam call.

"No, you called me; this is 911. Are you all right?" she countered.

911?? Crappity crap crap crap!

"I'm fine! No problem! It must be a phone glitch - I'm so sorry!" I cry, snarklessly.

"It's okay, but - you're sure you're all right?" Nice 911 Lady asked, giving me a chance to secretly ask for help to escape the serial killer.

"Yes, I'm all right, honest!" I told her, and we said good-bye.

Mind you, this whole time I'm barreling down the expressway.

Ten seconds later, the phone rings again. This time, it's my brother. I think, "Isn't that funny that he should call so soon after the Nice 911 Lady!"

I answered the phone, and my brother said, "Are you all right?"

"Yes!" says I, "I'm on my way to the beach. Why?"

"I just got this emergency alert from you with a map," he explained.


"Oh shit! No, I'm fine; my phone's doing it! I just got off the phone with 911, too, but I'm okay," I say.

We chatted for another minute as I approached my exit to I-476 and then hung up. I merged on to the highway, negotiating the lane disappearances and watching out for traffic. A few miles later, I suddenly realized that my brother was the fourth person on my emergency contacts list and OH HOLY DEAR SWEET JESUS, that meant  Joe had also gotten an emergency SOS notification.

Well, I was way too skittish to pull over to the shoulder of I-476, so I took the next exit and pulled off. I picked up the phone to call Joe and - I swear I am not making this up - he called at that very instant.

"Are you all right? Where are you?" he asked, breathlessly.

"I'm fine! Somehow my phone sent an emergency SOS!" I said.

"Oh my GOD. I'm here at First Avenue and Gulph because that's where the map said you were!" he replied, slightly calmer.

That's my guy - as soon as he got the SOS, he jumped in his car and flew down the road, looking for me in a wrecked Rinaldo. I love him so.

Anyway, we got it straightened out and talked each other off the ledge. After we hung up, I realized that SonnyeBoy and my sister had gotten the damn SOS too. So I texted them that I was fine. (SonnyeBoy actually called me later, in case a kidnapper had forced me to send the text.)

I started to put the phone down and saw the red SOS notice on the screen. How to get that off?

Well, of course instead of going to directly to Settings, I googled it. And Google told me how to do it, so I went to Settings, Emergency SOS, and stopped sharing the SOS.

And then I read how to send an Emergency SOS. Guess what? You press and hold the side button and either volume button.

Remember I where I originally stowed the phone?

Yes. My cupholder sent the SOS.

At least I know it works!