Someone else’s fantasy

by Maria on October 2, 2003

Well, first off, I think I can always be relied on to lower the tone of CT. And since I’m in the middle of a nightmare flat-moving extravaganza this is probably all I’ll have to say for a while.

I’ve started getting text messages from a french mobile number I don’t recognize. One from the other night started;

“J’ss tte nue, tu vns ch moi ce soir?…”

and continued in that vein. For those unfamiliar with french texting argot, that translates as ‘I’m completely naked. Are you coming over to mine tonight?”

First off I thought, hmmm, it’s just a wrong number. Then; nope, it must be a scam of some sort. Or someone just having a laugh from mailing naughty messages to random thousands of mobiles (though that would be kind of a pricey joke). But in a city where crossed wires make for star-crossed lovers, you can’t be too sure.

Then, yesterday morning I checked my messages on the way to work and received a real, live voicemail from ‘Celine’. She sounded pretty ticked off that I hadn’t made it the previous night.

So here’s the question. Should I call or text Saucy Celine to tell her she’s got the wrong number? (bearing in mind my mortification threshold is not high). Or just let the poor, slightly innumerate, girl think her bf is neglecting her on purpose? She’s been naked since Tuesday so I’d say she’s getting chilly…



Daragh McDowell 10.02.03 at 8:43 am

A simple text to sort her out will suffice, and save you a lot of hassle, as well as helping out a stranger, never a bad thing. Unless the stranger is Hitler or someone.


reza 10.02.03 at 9:23 am

N’hésite pas Maria! tu peux sauver leur couple.


markus 10.02.03 at 9:47 am

came across a similar problem myself once. ultimately decided to call the guy to tell him I’m not his girlfriend/lover. The conversation was pretty awkward, but at least I got no more messages after that. I’d say you should call Celine.


Dave 10.02.03 at 9:57 am

Oh, go on, call her. You know you want to. Look on it as a good deed. At least she can get dressed now…
Hmm, just got this text M hvng prty sat clbr8 invsion Poland. wanna come? AH
Should I tell him he has the wrong number?


andrew 10.02.03 at 10:20 am

Um, I’ll call her.


dsquared 10.02.03 at 10:23 am

I think you should call her and apologise for not coming over but say you were busy at work. Even when it’s like incredibly clear that she had the wrong number, pretend that she didn’t and that you’re still serious about the relationship.


Keith M Ellis 10.02.03 at 11:30 am

When I first moved to Austin eight years ago, the local alternative weekly printed an ad for the preferred local fetish/lingerie shop that mistakenly included my phone number instead of theirs. I quite enjoyed the phone calls I got.


dsquared 10.02.03 at 11:46 am

I would also like to nominate “J’ss tte nue, tu vns ch moi ce soir?” as the best above-the-fold teaser line that Crooked Timber has ever, or is ever likely to print.


chris 10.02.03 at 12:58 pm

Seriously though, you *must* text her and put her straight. Otherwise she might totally screw up her life and you could have prevented it.


Ted Barlow 10.02.03 at 2:41 pm

I recently came to work and found a furious message on my answering machine from someone with a wrong number threatening further legal action if a matter wasn’t resolved immediately. I called her back, but it was awfully tempting not to.

By the way, please feel free to lower the tone. I can’t do it all myself.


Zizka 10.02.03 at 3:40 pm

Once when I called a wrong number I figured I had misdialed so I redialed and got the same guy again. He was brusque the first time but went ballistic the second time. It turned out that he was charged per call for every call he received, wrong number or not.

I had the impression that he was wearing a lot of gold chains and tearing down the freeway in his TransAm. He sounded totally dorky, and too dumb to realize that if he pissed me off good ebough I could have put my phone on speeddial and put his bill through the roof. I didn’t, but not doing so is one of things I’ll regret on my deathbed.


carla 10.02.03 at 4:27 pm

Very funny Andrew!

So did you call her???


dsquared 10.02.03 at 7:28 pm

I still think it would be more fun to play Cyrano de Bergerac. I’m sure you could do a lot better at romacing Celine than this lump she’s going out with.


Scott Martens 10.02.03 at 9:15 pm

I haven’t got much advice to offer in dealing with “Céline”, but since I’ve had my gsm stolen and my landlord trying to screw me over this last week because I’m moving, I sympathise.

What you might try – and what has worked reasonably well for me when i don;t want to deal with something – is to text back in English “DO I KNOW U?” The scammers usually don’t have the level of English to keep up a scam and don’t try, and if “Céline” is merely mistaken, well, the wrong language usually eliminates the need for further discussion.


Maria 10.03.03 at 7:55 am

Sorry to be so utterly crap, but my mobile died yesterday and now I can’t find my charger in the heap of black bin bags that contain my life.

But if I ever get the thing going again, and my messages from poor Celine haven’t expired, I will indeed text her and put her out of her misery!

And no, I won’t be giving out her number…


Jill 10.03.03 at 2:26 pm

So none of you have played SMS roulette yet?

You get a gang of friends, concoct outrageous text messages, press send and choose number and simulateously close your eyes and scroll through your address book. One of you yells NOW and you all send off the message to whoever’s phone number you happened to have arrived at.

There’s a high level of self-mortification here, of course, because you’re sending messages to people in your address book, which means you actually know them and they probably know you. What if it was your boss, or mother, or your ex, or someone you’re trying to impress?

But roulette is always risky. At least this one gets you some interesting replies.


Francois Lachance 10.03.03 at 6:08 pm

I assume that Maria having full access to the text can ascertaint that Celine is indeed intending to address a boyfriend and not a girlfriend. Go for it Andrew! How do you translate “gender bending” into French? Let’s push it is Celine really a girrl?

Tone lowered enough, Ted? :)


maria 10.06.03 at 7:32 am

OK, OK, I texted Celine on saturday morning, when I finally got the phone charged up again and found I had received a rather scarily incoherent one that went;

“alors, esque ta ete bien servi? je n ai pas l abitude j ai confiance a mes pots”…

I thought the time had come to say that I wasn’t one of Celine’s pots.

which made me wonder a)if this guy wasn’t better left off the hook, but b)that closure was needed, and fast.

Since the ‘no offence taken but I’m not yr boyfriend’ message (in french) was sent; a long, beautiful silence.

(BTW I knew she was a girl texting a boy because of the voicemail she left me.)

But I’m sure there’s a kieslowski-lite film in there somewhere.


John 10.08.03 at 4:32 am

Just the other day I got voicemail from a very old-sounding grandma voice saying “happy birthday darling”.

It was not my grandma.

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