Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Midwest Wrong Numbers Are the Best Wrong Numbers

The other day while sitting on the couch reading, my phone vibrated. I checked and saw I had a new text message from a number I didn't recognize. The area code was my home state, the area code my own phone number still uses.

I get texts from time to time - usually some new version of telemarketing, letting me know via text that I have ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS TO CLAIM MY FREE CRUISE VACATION. Sometimes the words are heavily misspelled. Once, the text writer called me "Kathy". There is no easier way to make me annoyed than to call me Kathy.

My name is not Kathy.

In any case, I get a text notification from a number I don't know.

I shrug, pick the phone up, and check the message. This is what I read:

Yo P*, this is D*. Glad that your back in school and cleaned up man, that was a smart move. Im still in town & I do however still take bars & opies from time to time

was wondering if your old connects would still be good?

My understanding of drugs and drug use comes primarily from Law & Order episodes, a couple of Serious Topic Movies, and knowing a few druggies back in high school. It took me several moments of staring blankly at the phone before I realized that 'bars' didn't mean, like, going to bars to drink, but that it meant barbiturates, a word I've only even read four times in my life.

Now, I don't do drugs, don't live in Illinois any longer, and I wouldn't even know what to do with "opies" if you gave them to me. An Opie to me is a little Ron Howard on a black & white TV show I watched with my dad. But the guy seemed nice enough, all supportive of his friend going back to school and whatnot. He probably deserved a reply.

So I typed back:

Sorry, you have the wrong number.

I went back to reading, but then my phone vibrated again less than a minute later. So I checked it.

Could of sworn I had the right number. Whoops. Who is this?

He seemed nervous, I decided based entirely on how fast the reply came in. I decided to be as reassuring as possible.

So I answered him with the first thing I would want to know if I were him.

Well, I can tell you I am definitely not a cop.

This time, the silence stretched out. I was able to get two pages more into my book before he texted me back. I picked it up to check. This is what he had sent:



I could basically see his sweaty palms through the phone.

Perhaps my insistence, granted entirely without context and seemingly at random, was not as reassuring as I thought it was.

I felt bad, and went ahead and let him know I'm just some random lady who moved out of state, I don't know anyone to buy drugs from, again totally not a cop.

The final message he sent was:

So sorry, swear this is the number he gave me. I won't bother you again. Glad your not a cop! had me there for a sec. You have a great day, m'am.

I stared at the phone for a couple more minutes, trying to figure out if I had really just been ma'am'd by a guy looking to buy drugs.

It's true, you guys.

Midwestern people know how to be unfailingly polite in any situation imaginable.

*names and then initials changed to protect the random guy who texted me and also his ex-drug-addict friend, because nobody's attempt to get clean and go back to school should be ruined by a blogger telling funny stories about her life.


  1. Ok I love that your first instinct was to text back "Well, I can tell you I am definitely not a cop." I would have texted my BFF and we would have thought of crazy ways to play along before letting him off the hook.

    1. I considered it, but he was just trying to have a nice Saturday night. Just... his version of that is WAY different than mine.

  2. Ha, that's hilarious. My husband once got a text from his same area code (Michigan) asking if he was going to bring back eatibles from his trip to Colorado.

    1. Honestly, these people need to be more careful who they're texting. Sooner or later one of them IS gonna get a cop.


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