Monday, May 24, 2010

Serendipity in the form of a Weird Guy Text

I "sermonized" about how to be a kitten among chicks on Friday, but a life lesson on Saturday really rammed that point home.

I was getting ready for the grocery-run-lunch-with-The-Sister-safari-for-The-Kiddo's-swimsuit on Saturday morning. The Kiddo asked me if it were all right to call The Sister to inquire about hot tub privileges. I said sure.

A moment or so later, The Kiddo came wandering in, my cell phone in hand. "Mommy, some weirdo guy wants you to be his girlfriend," she said, giggling.

That yanked me away from the process of making me presentable for public viewing. "What?!" I asked.

"Yeah, he texted you."

And then she began to read.
Hi! Im a guy randomly txtn numbers lookn 4 a kewl gurl. I Got ur number randomly so we prolly dnt kno each other. If ur a gurl thats interestd txt me bk with ur age and name. If nt im sori 4 bothern u. Thanx
OK, that was disturbing on so many levels. Was the guy a pedophile, looking to snare young, innocent girls? Was he a weirdo scam artist that made a hundred bucks a text when you replied? Or was he just some socially inept guy who actually thought randomly texting girls was the way to get him a girlfriend?

I couldn't help but think of the really weird phone calls and queries that agents and editors get. I'll bet they have similar reactions to the one I had. And I'll bet every one of those queriers thought the letter or phone call was perfectly within the bounds.

The old saying is true: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So whether it's an agent or an editor, really think, "How could this query/phone call/showing up and throwing pebbles at their office window be perceived?"

I haven't yet decided what to do about the Weirdo Text Guy. The Kiddo wanted me to send him back a text that said unequivocally, "I cant be ur kewl gurl b/c u cant spell and Im married."

Me? I'm still thinking that if I replied, I'd get a bill for a hundred bucks for the privilege of telling Weirdo Text Guy to get lost.


Patty said...

Seriously? A text message trolling for partners? This is a new low.

Great post, though. Lots to think about. How do you find the balance between adhering to query guidelines AND being individual enough to stand out from the pile?

I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.

Lydia Kang said...

Eww, gross. Hope I don't get texts like that. But your response was hilarious! I hope the reciever gets the point.

Piedmont Writer said...

You're right, that was just wrong on so many levels. I think if it were me, I would take it to the police station and show the cops. What if he is a pedophile, what if he is a scam artist, what if he's just a stupidhead who doesn't know any better. With everything that's going on in today's world, I wouldn't trust it to be so 'random'. And who knows, maybe the cops can catch him before he does something really nasty.

Karla Nellenbach said...

that is seriously creepy...if it was me, I might not reply. just ignore...mostly because I'd be concerned about some charge showing up on my bill. Plus any kind of reply, even the get lost kind, could be construed as an invitiation for more text messages. And, I though duck guy was weird! lol

Linda G. said...

Wow. A new low, one that surprises even me.

I'm with you--as satisfying as a clever reply would be, I'd be afraid of inviting more unwelcome attention. A text like that could just be a way to see if a random phone number is a "live" one. Ignore it.

Mary McDonald said...

Post his number on some weird forum. haha. That might teach him

Cynthia Reese said...

Patty, I swear, I'm not kidding. I thought it was low, too!

Lydia, what if I forward him onto you, and then you can use him for one of your Medical Mondays??

Anne, I'd thought about that. Maybe I should at least alert my cell provider so that they can follow up? What if it IS a pedophile?

Karla, you don't have to worry about me replying to Mr. Weirdo Text Guy. He sounds like the kind of guy who might not be able to understand. Besides, he did say "sori 4 bothern u." I'll just forgive him -- silently.

Linda, hadn't thought about your idea, but it's a possible one. And I will resist the temptation to latch onto your "even me" comment. ;-)

Mary, if I had a Predators/Editors Beware forum like they do for scamming "so-not-a-real-agent" I'd do it in a heartbeat. Know of anything like that?

Tawna Fenske said...

OMG, this is hysterical! Kinda like those guys who believe whistling out car windows at random women is the best way to get a date!


Kristen said...

Your post was hilarious! That was definitely creepy!

Lickety Splitter said...

I got a crazy message from someone I didn't know a few weeks back ... talking bout "you got any weed over there." I text whoever back and said ... "Yeah, the kind your grandmama makes you pick out of her flowerbeds." Whoever text me back and say "My bad, wrong number."

Harley May said...

"Prolly" is my new favorite word.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Eewww. That text message is sick.

I wouldn't respond. It might encourage him somehow. Very creepy.

Tory said...

Yikes, Cynthia! I hope this creep gets the picture and stops harrassing you through text messages.

This is the exact reason my husband complained about me starting a blog, but after seeing the response from agents and fellow writers, he's obsessed w/ social networking as well.

It's a shame, though, that some people use these resources to invade our privacy. I mean really? A text?

Cynthia Reese said...

Tawna, I felt the SAME way as I would have with the random-wolf-whistle treatment. Ewww.

Kristen, amen to the creepiness factor! I second that emotion!

Lickety Splitter, sometimes back when I had a govt. cell phone that had to be one digit away from the local dealer's, I'd get weird calls like that. I always liked to hear their sudden fear when I'd say, "You DO realize this is a govt phone, don't you?"

Harley May, you use prolly and I'll clobber you.

Jennifer, I, too, think no reply necessary -- no encouragement needed for someone who didn't need encouragement in the first place!

Tory, assure your hubby that I don't think there's any way Weirdo-Text Guy got my cell phone number via social media. It's just not something I list on any profile, public or private. This was just a ... well, a weirdo-text guy!

Sandy Shin said...

Oh wow, that is definitely very, very weird and disturbing. I can definitely understand the agents'/editors' pains now!

Nishant said...

Your post was hilarious! That was definitely creepy!
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