Friday, August 1, 2014


In Case of Emergency

An ancient fossileHello. Since you’re looking at the emergency contact list on my phone, I must be in pretty rough shape—thanks for helping! Not to be a complete pain (and if it appears that I am in excruciating pain please skip to number seven), but following the guidelines below will ensure the best outcome possible.

1. If I am unconscious because of an accident, please call my mother (“Mom”). She has been expecting this phone call for years. If she does not answer, please call my boyfriend (“Andrew”).

2. If I am passed out in a bar and you found my phone because we were flirting or exchanging numbers when I lost consciousness, please skip Mom and Andrew and call my brother (“Adam”), who will come retrieve me. Please wait with me until he arrives, I often feel awkward sitting in bars alone.

3. If I am unconscious in a bar and we are just friends, please call Andrew, but only if you are not very good looking. If you are good looking, please call Adam. He is single and a lawyer, in case you are available, too.

4. If I am choking, please put down the phone and perform the Heimlich maneuver, but not if you are good looking and Andrew is nearby.

5. If you just robbed me and are looking through my contacts on the subway ride home, you are incredibly rude and have no respect for privacy. Call the police and report yourself.

6. If it looks like I’m not going to recover, please delete all of my text messages from Michael (“College Crush”). Andrew, if you are snooping on my phone because I watched the most recent episode of Game of Thrones without you and you are angry, please understand that nothing ever happened between me and Michael and never will. 

7. If Mom, Andrew, and Adam are not answering their phones, please call the police. DO NOT disturb my most recently dialed contact. It is probably the unlisted number for Lime Leaf Thai and I would prefer that it not get out.

Finally, if it seems like it is going to take a while for the police or paramedics to arrive, feel free to look through my pictures. I think the tasteful nudes circa winter 2013 will be to your liking, especially if we were flirting in a bar before my accident. Note, however, that you should not send pictures to any of my contacts, except maybe College Crush, but then delete the message from my phone. Also, feel free to update my apps. It would be nice to wake up from this ordeal and not have to deal with that immediately.


Photo via justininsd/flickr.

Alexander Birkhold is an attorney in New York with a screenplay hidden in his desk drawer.

5 Comments / Post A Comment


Haha, this has been weighing on my mind recently because I keep being overly concerned about being hit by a car while I ride my bike. I keep thinking "okay, my parents are obvious in my phone but they are 2 hours away so I'd probably want someone to call my boyfriend too because he can be at the hospital faster but he's deaf so how do I let the random stranger who picks up my phone know they will need to text him, not call???"

I haven't come up with a good answer but I also think it's something that should probably be pretty far down on my list of things to be worrying about at the moment.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@ratatat Some phones come pre-programmed with an In Case of Emergency function! But how do you just choose one person?

de Pizan

@ratatat @Rookie, you can also do ICE (in case of emergency) in front of a contact's name to make it easy to find if someone is looking in your contact list. No reason why you couldn't designate a few contacts as ICE1, ICE2, etc in order of preferred contact.

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