The drive-by text message

Years ago, my boy Lance was seeing a girl who turned out to be crazy.

Now, I realize this is like saying he was seeing a vegetarian who turned out to be a Democrat or a Prius owner who turned out to be a terrible driver, but stick with me.

Go out with me!

"Be my boyfriend, right now!"

Lance had a three-stage system for getting rid of girls he didn’t like. I won’t drag you through those stages, but the final one was to just stop answering the phone or returning calls altogether. Stage 3 wasn’t usually necessary, because they’d usually scram at Stage 1 or 2.

Anyway, this one did not. From the balcony of our second-floor apartment one night, while Lance is in the middle of Stage 3, we see this girl’s car pulling into the lot. Slowly. She does a slow drive-by, looks up at us in the balcony as Lance goes, incredulously, “She’s driving by my house.”

This maneuver has a modern counterpart. That counterpart is the drive-by text message.

Have you ever received a text that said something like, “What’s going on?” or “Hey, what’s up?” or just, “Hey”?

If you’re like me, your first reaction is to be annoyed at such a wasteful message. I only get, like, 300 of these a month, man. Let’s make ’em count. But your second reaction was more like, “Uh oh.”

This is because the sender is trying to bait you. If you respond, they know your phone is on, your phone is near you and you can communicate with it, meaning you won’t be able to ignore the almost certainly painful conversation they actually want to have with you.

Example 1:

Incoming text: “hey whats up?”

Your reply:  “not much just hangin out”

Incoming text: “with who, that skank from wednesday? we need to decide what we are”

Example 2:

Incoming text: “hey man”

Your reply: “yo whats up?”

Call comes in, you answer.

“Hey, man, sorry to bug you this late, but I ran out of gas on the highway and I was wondering if you could bring me some.”

This is the drive-by text, and it is never, ever good.


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