TXTPAL Has My Identity Now

By Ben Johnson

In what I’m sure is a stupid move, I agreed to join this service. The idea of it is they set you up with a text-message pen pal, but really they probably just want to sell your cell phone number to whoever wants it. So I’m looking forward to getting text messages directly from Papa John’s for the rest of my life. My editor at VICE suggested it because she thought it would be funny. I agreed to do it because I am stupid.

Here’s a transcript:

9177467856:[Welcome to TxtPals!]

[Commands:

/?  this  menu

/nick  change your name

/list  who’s here?

/me  status

/shhh  skip today

/leave  bye!]

12:13pm Friday

9177467856: [We just found you a TxtPal!]

12:13pm Friday

Me:Yo where you at?

12:16pm Friday

Me:/me

12:18pm Friday

9177467856: [You: Pal35, Pal: Dan]

12:28pm Friday

Me:YO DAN WHERE YOU AT.

12:39pm Friday

9177467856: Dan: I’m here to!!!

12:40pm Friday

9177467856:Dan: Yo!! Where you at PAL35????

12:40pm Friday

Me:CHITOWN TRYNDA LINE UP A FRIDAYY CUZ I BUST NUTZZZZZ

12:43pm Friday

9177467856: Dan: Hahahahaha

1:01pm Friday

Me:U A DUDE?

1:02pm Friday

9177467856:Dan: YEAH

1:02pm Friday

9177467856: Dan: YOU ALWAYS TYPE IN CAPS?

1:03pm Friday

Me: SOMETIME DA SHIT BE URGENT HOMIE

1:05pm Friday

Me: yo dan i cant figure da shit ut u cool but where the ladies at u know? cant fugure the shit out

1:24pm Friday

9177467856: Dan: Yeah! You gotta hope that the service assigns you to a nice lady next time instead of a dude. It’s just random. Ya know? Doesn’t know if you’re a dude or

2:07pm Friday

9177467856: Dan: a chick.

2:07pm Friday

9177467856:[ Dan is now: spooky]

11:46am Saturday

9177467856: [spooky is now: sharky]

11:46am Saturday

9177467856:[ Pal switch! You have a new Pal. Say Hi!]

11:46am Saturday

Me:I get lonely.

2:10am Sunday

Me: Lonely in my bones.

2:12am Sunday

Me: Deep and impenetrable loneliness.

2:13am Sunday

Me: But not a despairing loneliness.

2:14am Sunday

Me:I find its depth and breadth a comfort, like a long walk home from a dead end neighborhood.

2:15am Sunday

Me:I am eating pancakes. Alone.

2:16am Sunday

Me: Hello?

2:16am Sunday

Me: Are you there?

2:16am Sunday

Me: I am eating pancakes.

2:17am Sunday

Me: Are you sleeping? I need a friend. I’m down in the dumps.

2:19am Sunday

Me: GOOD MORNING!!! JESUS IS LORD!!!

8:33am Sunday

Me: I ate blood.

10:55am Sunday

9177467856:[ Pal switch! You have a new Pal. Say Hi!]

11:12am Sunday

Me: Listen, do you know anything about snakes? Poisonous snakes?

11:14am Sunday

9177467856: Pal41: Just not to get near them. Or touch them really.

11:14am Sunday

Me: Uh oh.

11:15am Sunday

9177467856: Pal41: What happened? You should try to suck the venom out. But don’t swallow it.

11:16am Sunday

Me: Oh jeez.

11:17am Sunday

9177467856: Pal41: Well? We live?!

11:33am Sunday

Me: I’m not good.

12:17am Sunday

9177467856: Pal41: Do you need me to call your mom

1:11pm Sunday

Me: Don’t be vulgar.

1:13pm Sunday

Me: hey where do people buy road flares or a flare gun for boats

10:44pm Sunday

Me: quick

10:44pm Sunday

Me: hey quick

10:45pm Sunday

9177467856:[ Pal switch! You have a new Pal: tacotruck. Say Hi!]

9:07am Monday

Me: Sometimes I worry that I never learned how to love another person.

9:13am Monday

9177467856: tacotruck: Not even your mother?

9:24am Monday

Me:What is it with you people and mothers?

9:25am Monday

9177467856: tacotruck: Seems the most likely place to start. Does anyone love you?

9:39am Monday

Me: [New Pal: not tacotruck]

9:46am Monday

Me:/change to not tacotruck

9:47am Monday

Me:/hatethisguy

9:51am Monday

Me:/dud

9:58am Monday

Verdict: although I guess fucking with strangers via text message is a decent way to waste time, and it’s nice to get the extra added bonus of picturing their phone buzzing on the nightstand when you text “R U HORNY” at 4:00 AM, there’s the internet now. The whole world is wired specifically to fuck with strangers.

Also, although I like to think I’m decently funny, there’s just no way for me to top [spooky is now: sharky]. Wherever and whoever you are, Dan, you did it. You topped me. I want you back.

Comments