7.01.2012

When Pocket-Dialing Gets Creepy

What are the odds?  WHAT ARE THE ODDS, I ask you?

My dear friend from my old town was coming to visit me, along with two 8-year-olds – her son and a friend.  I was thrilled.

The Sunday night before their visit, the interior of our house looked like it had been bombed.  It always does on Sundays.  It is what happens to the house of a preacher’s family, without fail.  I can’t figure out exactly why.  I mean, other families go to church on Sundays, too.  And I’m sure their houses look pristine and all, but ours becomes absolutely covered in household detritus.

Detritus - noun  - 1. accumulated material or debris, 2. disintegrated or eroded matter. 
(We have both kinds.)
No single category of detritus takes over, other than just the general type.  Various THINGS strewn EVERYWHERE.  Just be aware of that, dear people, if you ever stop by to bring us a pound cake or such.  (Hi, Mr. Kicker!)

On that night, the night of possibly the most extensive Sunday detritus explosion ever, I remember having a conversation with my daughter that went something like this:

Her: “Mommy, I am soooooooo excited that they are coming tomorrow!!!”

Me (tired and fatigued after an extraordinarily long Sunday): “I know, me too, but look at our house, honey.  (loud, long sigh)  We have got so much to clean up.  This is awful!  You guys need to start picking up your junk.  Get out the clutter buckets.  No, I’m not doing it for you!  This is your mess!  You clean it up.  I still have to do the kitchen.  See all those dishes piled up?  That’s where I’ll be.  I’m setting the timer.  See how much y’all can do in 15 minutes."  (blah, blah, blah)

Fast-forward to the following day.  Our guests arrive, bearing Little Debbies, Cheez-Its, and other snacks aplenty, and I am ushering them in to the kitchen where my friend is setting the Little Debbies on the counter. 
She turns to me, laughing, and tells me that I pocket-dialed her number 4 times in a row yesterday. 
buttdialing
A pocket dial (also called pocket-call or butt-dial, keepin’ it real, folks) is a slang term used to mean an unintentional call placed from a mobile phone because the send button was accidentally pressed while carrying the phone in one’s pocket.  Pocket-dialing is an epidemic that is both hilarious and disturbing.  Here is some perspective: in 2010, New York City was flooded with 4 million inadvertent calls to 911.  That is 38% of all the 911 calls they received, an average of 10,700 false calls a day.

My friend’s name is AMY.  With an A. Her name is the first name in the contacts list in my cell phone.  Therefore, out of all my cell phone contacts, she has the dubious honor of being the friend who is most frequently pocket-dialed (or purse-dialed), usually once a week at the minimum.  I expect her to block my number any day now. 

So Amy tells me that she answered my persistent pocket-dialing, and in the background, she heard a little voice saying, “Mommy, I am sooooo excited that they are coming tomorrow!”

My jaw dropped, and I slapped my forehead.  I knew what she was about to say she heard next.  She heard my whole lecture about how awful the house looked, and she even heard me barking out the marching orders.  And then she said this: “Jennifer, you know you don’t have to clean up for us.”  To really freak me out, she should have called me right after she heard the Sunday night conversation to encourage me to leave everything AS IS.  I would have been flabbergasted by the timeliness of her sweet, mind-reading phone call.

The bottom line is this:  I was talking in the privacy of my own home about my friend’s upcoming visit, and she heard it! 

 It leads me to this provocative question - what if every time we talked about somebody, they heard it?  Every time we uttered their name, they got a little “notification?”  A cell phone call?  Like the little red box on Facebook.  Or your @-mentions on Twitter.  Isn’t that uber-creepy?

Not that it could ever really happen like that. 

But word to the wise: you never know when your cell phone might be calling someone when you least expect it.

I’m proof.

Have you ever had a cell phone mishap?  Share your comments here!
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