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Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Wake-up call for iPhone users, after the alarm glitch

By Alexandra Petri

"To do each day two things one dislikes is a precept I have followed scrupulously," Somerset Maugham said. "Every day I have got up and I have gone to bed."

Waking up is never easy. But with iPhone alarms crippled by a glitch, it's well-nigh impossible! With the iPhone failure, we're being exposed as a nation of involuntary early risers -- many of whom lack the capacity to get up without a sleek, Steve Jobs-designed gadget whispering sweet nothings in our ears.

In came 2011, and iPhone alarms across the country are refusing to go off -- not with a bang, or a whimper.

This is what Y2K was basically like, except that this is actually disrupting people's lives! This is worse than what would happen if the Mayans came to earth. If the world ended, we wouldn't have to get up and go to work in the morning -- or be late when our iPhones failed.

Getting out of bed is always a challenge. I have heard that the morning is the best part of the day. There is dew, or something, and you can see the world in all its verdant glory. "And the sunrise!" people crow. I've seen sunrises, and I don't understand what the fuss is about. It's like a damp, chilly screensaver. A sunrise is basically a sunset, except that it gives you a lingering sense of moral superiority that makes you irritating to everyone you encounter.

Still, the early bird, I have been told, gets the worm. But who wants a worm?

For years I have been attempting to design an alarm that will successfully get me out of bed. My idea of a snooze button is best summarized by the Green Day song "Wake Me Up When September Ends." That seems like a good interval.

I tried recording an alarm that would yell obscenities at me and shout, "Quit it, kiddo! I know your tricks!" when I hit the sleep button. I tried recording a passive-aggressive message that implied I should probably get up in a vaguely disappointed tone. I tried the Imperial March. I tried logic. I tried recording a message that sounded like the sound George Lucas would make if he decided to come offer me a job. I tried waking up to Nickelback's Rock Star, but instead of leaping out of bed in a frenzy to turn it off, I grew to like the song. Usually what got me up was the sound of my roommate bashing my phone in with a claw hammer.

My current plan is to invest in a small catapult that will fire ice cubes at me in rapid succession until I get up. I hired a rooster, but I had to put him down. I tried to hire a man to wake me up in the mornings, but he wanted a relationship.

This latest iPhone glitch is just another example of how our panoply of gadgets is stripping us of the ability to perform routine tasks on our own -- tasks like waking up, carrying on conversations without constantly reloading Twitter to see if we've been discovered yet, walking around a city without constantly reloading Google maps, or having knowledge about things. With my smartphone, I can get from Point A to point B without accidentally wandering several miles out of my way to Point C. Without it, I have the approximate directional skill of a demagnetized pigeon.

Now, when people ask me why the chicken crossed the road, I respond that it was probably the route Google Maps suggested. These are the tools we rely on. Fall and can't get up? There's LifeAlert. Asleep and can't get up? There's your iPhone!

Except when it isn't.

In the meantime, if you need a wakeup call, leave your number in the comments, and I'll see what I can do!

By Alexandra Petri  | January 3, 2011; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  Epic Failures, Petri  | Tags:  apologies, iphones, technology  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Facebook beats Google in 2010? This needs to stop.
Next: Why did 4,000 dead birds drop from the sky in Arkansas?


Sleep is for losers. (Plumber, Watergate).

Posted by: deepthroat21 | January 3, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Good grief. Every minor software glitch on the iPhone causes a huge media frenzy. Meanwhile the fact that lots of things go wrong with many functions on the Android phones is just a yawner, so they go untalked about in the mainstream media.

I guess that's what happens when you're on top. It's simply a great smartphone.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 3, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I finally made a deal with someone. I told them I would pay them $20 every time I stayed in bed past 6:00 am.

Worked like a charm.

Posted by: fishcrow | January 3, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

While reading this column on my iPhone, I discovered it has a new glitch. It kept doing rim shots! This is the bests group of one-liners I've heard in a long time.

I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Apple has already developed a catapult alarm app that flings ice cubes at you to wake you up.

The bad news is that it also makes you frigid.

Posted by: divtune | January 3, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

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