I suppose it was inevitable that I'd irritate someone at some point, but I never expected it to be so soon in my career as a miserable-git-blogger!
I am, it seems, being stalked by a TXT messager... Her name's Siobhan and, if I had to guess (never having seen her), I'd say she's probably about 13 years old.
This all started on a Saturday a few weeks back when, while having a lunchtime pint with my father down at the pub, I received a message on my phone: "Heya howz u then". Now, quite apart from the atrocious spelling, I feel that this message is missing, at the least, a comma and a question mark. It also came from a number I didn't recognize, so I ignored it - for a while.
Once I had completed my filial socializing activities, I took myself off in my little red hairdresser's car, topless (I refer to the car's top, obviously, I have no intention of scaring anyone by exposing my own impressive set of moobs and besides which it was February and my raspberries would have frozen off). Remembering the message while driving home, I carefully located a place where it was safe to pull over, switch off engine and apply handbrake before getting the dog out of my sky and inquiring thusly in a suitable TXT idiom:
"I regret to inform that your number seems not to be in my directory. Pray tell, who are you?"
The reply came almost instantaneously:
"Who dis x".
Having blatantly ignored the question I put, and retorted instead with one of their own (also somewhat punctuationally deficient) I began to wonder if, perhaps, my mysterious correspondent was an American. However, I'm not at all sure that I have ever had a message adorned with a trailing kiss from any of my transatlantic friends.
"I am the person to whom you have just sent a text message." I retorted - staying remarkably cool in the face of provocation, I thought.
By return I received "How did u get my number". Things were becoming less opaque by the moment - I was clearly dealing with a Lack-wit. (In the same way that many Americans are unable to tell the difference, based on speech patterns, between the English and Australians, so a small but significant section of the English are often hard pressed to tell the difference - based solely on speech patterns - between an American and a Lack-wit. Should the penultimately identified individual be wearing a baseball cap backwards, there is actually no difference.)
"I have your number as an inevitable consequence of you initiating this exchange by virtue of having sent me a message."
"Dis is siobhan who r u x"
Evidently, if I was to get home before freezing to death by the side of the road, another tactic was required. So, I dialed the number and spoke to the confused individual at the end of the line - explaining the sequence of events, and advising her that she had, in fact, been sending messages to an incorrect number. Happy to have resolved the conundrum, I continued home, safe in the knowledge that I'd get no more incomprehensible messages. Mistake.
The messages have continued, and have been rather entertaining. Over a week or so they have included
"Howz u hun love ya xxxx bm4l xxx cya soon xxxxxxx".
"Nite x tb x"
"Hey wat u at tmb"
"Hi bbe how r u tmb x
I've actually had to find a 'teenage txt speak translator to even understand one or two. As a public service, here it is - type a confusing abbreviation in the box, and it'll do its best to enlighten you:
I do feel rather sad for the object of Siobhan's affection who clearly isn't getting all of his (or her) messages - so I have left her anther message to let her know...
Touch wood, all has been quiet since... though next time I get a message I'll send her this URL...