Every caper has its coda.
Due to the dousing of water Charlie gave his iPad, and my taking its case apart to dry it off, it wasn't quite the same when put back together. There is a clear sheet of plastic that goes over the iPad touchscreen and, after I had taken this off and dried it, it just would not be reapplied as smoothly as before. Specifically, there were tons of air bubbles that could not be smoothed out.
I tried to get those d**mn'd bubbles out while Jim and Charlie were biking 16 miles in Jersey horse country. I knew it wasn't good when, after Charlie got into the car, he sat with the iPad in his lap for 25 minutes, staring at it, running his finger here and there over the touchscreen and not saying anything.
At home, Charlie retreated to his room. At hearing hammering sounds, Jim and I hurried upstairs, where Charlie, face distraught, was banging a corner of the iPad in the wall and on the verge of exploding.
I took the iPad and pulled apart the case and tried to smooth out the plastic. Charlie watched, dolefully. Jim suggested a bike ride and, after inspecting the iPad and placing it resignedly on his bed, Charlie assented. As they got ready to ride, I felt a guilty gratefulness for that behemoth, Amazon, as I ordered a new iPad case with a new sheet of plastic, and a pack of plastic sheets.
I saw Jim and Charle off. After vacuuming the plaster up from the hole in the wall from where the iPad's hard corner had made contact, I decided to try one more time with that plastic sheet. As I was trying to smooth away the bubbles, the simplex elegans solution arose: Just get rid of the sticky, dented, bubbly plastic.
Charlie had trying to bang out on the bubbles, Jim noted later.
Without the plastic sheet, the iPad lacks a layer of protection. But was Charlie delighted to have a bubble-free iPad; I have a feeling, the bubbles induced something approaching nausea in him. He had a light dinner and then scooted up to his room to watch, over and over, an old favorite video of a boy and his father preparing to bike. When I went to check on him at 7pm, he was luxuriously stretched out on his blue blanket, smiling, and he slowly drifted to sleep after plugging in his bubble-freed iPad.