Samsung offering free fire extinguisher with each cell phone purchase!

imageTechnology is great.

Except, of course, when it explodes in your pants. I’ve never really liked cell phones to begin with, and now that they’ve started self-detonating, I like them even less.

Curgently, Samsung is investigating why its Galaxy Note 7 phones are bursting into flames — a feature Samsung officials say wasn’t supposed to become available until next year.

As you might expect, cell phone sales have dipped slightly as a result of these incidents. That’s because luxuries like instant messaging, Internet access and live video feeds don’t mean much if your cell phone suddenly ignites into flames, turning your morning commute into a flaming lap dance and an appearance on The World’s Wildest Police Chases. 

It would be different if exploding cell phones were an optional feature, i.e., for an extra charge, you, as a cell phone customer, had the option of detonating an annoying person’s cell phone with the press of a button. Nothing serious, just a subtle hint that they need to learn better manners…

“Hello? No, that’s okay! The movie just started! What? Really? No way. And what did SHE say?

[WARNING! Detonation sequence has been initiated! Beginning countdown! Five..! Four..!]

“Hey — you mind if call you back? Yeah, someone’s about to reduce my phone to ashes again…”

While Samsung officials are blaming defective batteries as the root cause of Exploding Cell Phone Syndrome, I have to disagree. The fact is, cell phones are simply being asked to do too much and, because of it, are having a total melt down. I’ve had my cell phone for five years, which by today’s standards means it should be part of a traveling history exhibit for school children. However, I’ve kept it because it provides me with all the functions I need in a cell phone:

I can call people.
People can call me.
I can hang up on people.

That’s all I’m really looking for in a cell phone. If I wanted to play games, SnapChat and post to Facebook I’d just stay at work.

Comparatively, the life expectancy of today’s cell phones is about one year. That’s assuming everything goes well and, out of sheer frustration from having to retype “I’ll pick up milk and bread” so that it stops auto-correcting to “I lick up filth with Fred,” you don’t end up  crushing it in your fist like a grape.

From what I’ve been told, that isn’t covered under warranty. The same thing goes for any damage your phone might incur after accidentally triggering a gas station explosion. That’s right, according to a recent warning from AAA, static discharge from cell phones “has the potential to ignite gas vapors, although it’s still safer than if your cell phone actually explodes.”

Because of this danger, the National Fire Protection Association has issued the following safety tips to motorists:

1) Avoid using cell phones, laptop computers or portable radios while refueling. And if you happen to be using them all at once, you’re just asking for trouble.

2) Make safety a priority and wait until you’re back on the highway before multi-tasking with your electronic devices.

And lastly,

3) If a fire starts, don’t try to stop it. Leave the area and call someone.
Unless of course that’s the reason the fire started in the first place…



Ned Hickson is a nationally syndicated humor columnist with News Media Corporation and the editor of Siuslaw News. He is also the author of Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of more than a decade of humor columns; and Pearls of Writing Wisdom: From 16 shucking years as a columnist, a writer’s survival guide. Both are available from Port Hole Publishing.









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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

38 thoughts on “Samsung offering free fire extinguisher with each cell phone purchase!”

  1. I read that Samsung has halted all sales of the Note 7 and there was a poll done with people who own ANY Samsung device. Apparently 60% of them said they would not get another Samsung.. anything now. I have a Galaxy 6 and I like my phone and have very little issue with it. It is a huge set back for them and I am sorry for the people who have experienced real property damage and injury. Technology really can be dangerous… :-/

    1. Considering how many cell phones are out there in use every day, I realize the likelihood of them causing injury are pretty marginal. More people are probably injured walking into things or traffic than are injured by phone malfunction. Still, maybe they’re trying to tell us something…?

  2. I would argue that technology is especially great when it explodes in your pants.

    It took me forever to get Husband to upgrade to a smartphone, because he also felt that asking the phone to do more than make and receive calls was just silly (I basically dragged him, kicking and screaming, into texting) and he still won’t use it for social media or even email. I should probably give up, right? I mean, at least he’s using it for reading (and catching Pokémon)

  3. Live dangerously. Be a double threat. Use your Samsung while riding your Hoverboard.

    Personally I’ll stick with my flip phone for routine telephone tasks and save the rest for when I am near a computer.

    On my flip phone I do have a mystery. The display spontaneously flipped some months ago and now reads backwards. I took it to the dealer when it happened and the sales guy opined that I must have hit some command asking it to do that but he didn’t know how to undo. When I asked why there would be a program to flip the display he responded with a very definite, “I dunno.”

    1. Have you considered that you might have entered a parallel universe, and it’s not the phone but YOU who is looking at the phone backwards?

      You can see why they never hired me to work in electronics at Best Buy…

      1. On the parallel universe, possibly. Actually that concept represents my greatest hope that there is another choice in realities, should we only locate the portal.

  4. I’m pretty sure that if you overload me, I’ll meltdown too – and it would make a cell phone explosion pale in comparison.

    I went to an “escape room” event this weekend and could have saved $5 on admission if I posted to twitter, FB, etc. Just imagine the looks I got when I told them, my phone doesn’t do that! I told them it came from the Ark…they stared at me then too! sigh…

  5. I am dying over here. You crack me up! I love that a fireman opted to write about this – seems like a great way to fulfill your civic duty.
    I was on a flight last week where the attendants had to tell everyone with a Samsung 7 to shut it down…shut it all the way down. Sounds like something I’d tell my teenage son and his friends…
    I’m ready to go back to the long twisty cord and no caller-ID. Life was so exciting then…

  6. The next feature they’ll have in smartphones is a built-in fire extinguisher. Of course, I don’t know if I’d want to be around when that explodes either.

  7. Hilarious spin on a scary and serious topic Ned. And you’re so right, they don’t make anything built to last anymore, including TVs and appliances. The world of greed has taken over – fast and cheap = shyte. Older is better. I love my phone (gratefully not a Samsung or a Note 7), it does everything, it’s 3 years old and still going strong (crap, I hope I didn’t jinx it). This blow up business is very scary, and makes me more concerned about all the people who use these devices on airplanes!!!! 🙂

  8. But the question is: Would the person who’s so involved with taking that selfie or surfing that particular website even notice that the phone had exploded? I mean, is that great special effects or what? Personally, I prefer my phone – like yours, it’s mostly for calls to and from and an occasional text, but mine does take photos (more or less) – and I can fold mine up so the teeny screen doesn’t get scratched.

    1. I went for a phone for almost two weeks when I lost my charger. I was too stubborn to buy a new one. I realized I could live without it, so in my mind the risk of having my [censored] injured by a phone fire isn’t worth the risk — and I guess you know where I keep my phone now…

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