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Friday, December 21, 2012

A Christmas Greeting

As I finished breakfast on the last day of a trip away from home,  my cell phone beeped an incoming text message.  It was a number I didn't recognize. 

Wheres the keys

Aside from the number being unfamiliar, my daughter, who lives with me and is the only person likely to need my keys, was on the same trip, and sitting across the table from me, so I wondered who thought they needed my keys.... and which keys they wanted..... youngest son was expected to come for Christmas in a week or so, but he knows where the 'emergency' key is kept. He was the only person I could think might be asking, but it seemed unlikely that he would be.  I replied: 

Who's asking?
The immediate answer was:

What you mean whose asking? Wheres my f**n keys

The censoring is mine..... this didn't sound like my son. I wondered if I should even reply to a pretty obvious - and obnoxious-  wrong number.  Surely they'd figure it out.  While I was ruminating on this, I received:

Well where r they

Hmmmm.... persistent. 

And have the nerve to say whose asking? Probly not even for me

Not sure what that means, but it doesn't sound good.  It might be a good idea to let them know that they haven't got the person they intended to call. So I replied, I confess, a bit grumpily:

Please check the number you're calling.  And learn some courtesy. 

I was surprised how quickly the response came back.

R u f**n serious! F*k off n dont come bak here

....eep!  now they're REALLY angry.  I began to worry for the safety of the party I was unknowingly impersonating.  I had to make it clear that there had been a mistake. I sent:

You have the wrong number.

There. That aught to do it.

Yea yea. Doors will be locked n u can get the f*k outta lifes

For crying out loud! How plainly can I tell them this isn't the person who can tell them where their blasted keys are!  Now I was really worried that someone was going to get thrown out of their home or maybe even seriously hurt over a silly misunderstanding.  Direct, straightforward language doesn't seem to work, so I'll have to try something that makes it clear that this is someone they don't know.  I've been reading a lot of flowery old literature.... was in the middle of  Wilkie Collins' Woman in White at the time..... and I was more than a little grumpy by now about the whole conversation, so I sent the following: 

If i had any idea who you are I would cherish the moment I complied with your request. The person you think you're conversing will be fortunate indeed to be done with you.  

That should do it. 

..... long pause...... happy sigh..... good, they've realized it was a mistake, checked the number, and are now calling the person they really wanted to talk to...... oh, stink!  another text from that number....

Lmao! Yea yea u think i gaf about him. I jus realized i am one number off. Stupid iphones. If u only knew the whole story im sure u woodnt be saying f**k all. But just like any white person ur s**t dont stink n u think ur something Special! 

WHAT!!! How does any part of this conversation have anything to do with anybody's race?! ....  I'm tempted to reply that I'm Ethiopian, just out of spite.... they said 'him'.... so is this a woman? Some guy whose phone number you don't even know has the keys to your house? .... no, thanks.... I don't think I want to know the whole story.  Just go away.....   another long pause..... take a long, deep breath. Relax.  She's gone.   Oh, bloody hell.... it's another text from her.  Why am I even reading this?!  

U think any man who hides kesy on 6 month pregnant woman n steals her chikdrens money for crack is a f***ing joke! Im supposed to be nice n ask politely n be courteous when asking for my f***ing keys! U can go f**k yourself n have a merry f**n christmas a**hole

Okay.  That's enough.  I'm not opening the next one.  I feel very sorry for you and your children (how many poor kids are living in this place with these people, I wonder) but I didn't put you there - you put yourself there. Besides, I don't even know where 'there' is.  Please, please, please learn something from this, and don't mess around with guys like that anymore.  Should I tell her that? I wrestle with this for a few minutes, then tell myself, NO.  I'm not an addictions counselor or a psychologist.  I don't have a clue how to help her, and she's not going to take any advice from some white person (?!) whose s**t don't stink.  I will definitely not reply.  I will turn my phone off.   

For a little while.  

I'm expecting to hear from the son who's coming for Christmas, so I won't turn it off for long

I'll turn it back on now.  

I hope she doesn't text me again.

When I got home there were a couple of more conventional Christmas greetings in my mailbox. There were no more profane Christmas Greeting text messages.  I must be getting very old and boring.  I liked the conventional ones so much better.  


susan said...

Not only am I very impressed with your calm responses to this bizarre series of messages I'm also glad (in a weird way) you thought to collect them for a post. Even after your mistaken texter realized her error after your very patient efforts to tell her she had the wrong number she proceeded to insult you for being polite. This is yet another example of just how debased communication can become when anonymity becomes the norm. Of course, she might have just been one of those people you're just as well off not to have come face to face with in any other circumstance. You do have to feel sorry for her and her children but you're right that there was nothing you could have done except perhaps to have answered her in kind right away with 'uv d rong*'. Yes, I looked that up :-)

I really enjoyed that Wilkie Collins novel. As my personal next treat I'll be reading 'The Once and Future King' by T.H. White.

gfid said...

Su - the mum/granny heart in me wants kiss it all better for her and her babies.... If it were only that simple. Thanks for the moral support.

I found Wilkie Collins on Freebooks ap. am now reading 'After Dark'

gfid said...

Su - the mum/granny heart in me wants kiss it all better for her and her babies.... If it were only that simple. Thanks for the moral support.

I found Wilkie Collins on Freebooks ap. am now reading 'After Dark'

gfid said...

Not sure why that posted twice..... Only wanted to add that T H White was one of the classic authors my kids loved me to read to them. I have a Fabulously ugly, hand crafted warthog teapot gifted me by one of them, whose name is 'Wart', because it rhymes with 'Art'

linda said...

oh lord, this is one more reason why i don't have one of these things...i have an "almost" embarrassingly old cell phone without the capacity to "talk" to other people...or for them to "try" to talk to me... you have amazing capacity to keep your temper under control. do you have a temper? ;) i am afraid i might have fallen into the trap of name calling albeit with proper spelling! :)

gfid said...

Oh, yes, I have a temper.... But my first thought was that this was man, texting a woman.... He sounded nasty, and I I didn't want to cause trouble for the person he thought he was talking to.