You're in for a treat, readers! My last blog post about the text message fail inspired Twitter friend @OlliCrusoe to share one of his own text message fails. Read, enjoy, and check out his blog (link at the bottom of this post).
One Sunday night, it must have been in 2002, I was sleeping the sleep of the sleepy in the room I shared with 4 other soldiers who spent their military service doing mostly administrative and logistics stuff for our company.
Private Long ((name changed)) barged in, angrily shouting “CRUSOE! WHERE IS HE? I’M GONNA KICK HIS ARSE!”
Even though I was everything but violent, or competent in brawling, Long wasn’t particularly intimidating to me, so I was more sleepy than worried. What was happening? Rubbing my eyes, I probably said something like: “Whut?”
Annoyed grunts from the other two guys already sleeping or dozing.
“YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS ABOUT!”
Slowly waking up, kind of getting annoyed but still rather clueless I asked him what he was going on about. After some more rambling on his side, and some checking of electronics on my side slowly it began to dawn on me.
It was second week of basic training.
Ensign Binford ((Name Changed)) had us all standing at ease in front of the mess hall.
“Any more questions before lunch?” he bellowed cheerfully.
Long raised a hand. Groans everywhere. You know the unwritten rules, no questions before dinner, break or being dismissed for the night.
“Is there a letter box nearby?”
“A letter box?” the ensign asked, caught by surprise.
“Yes, one of those yellow boxes, about this large, you put letters in them.” Turns out Long’s home was about 400 miles south or so.
Everyone held their breath. We probably all had the same thought. Well, I thought how that could be a line I’d have said, but not to our frakkin’ platoon leader, 10 days into basic training. He was lucky though, Binford was young, amiable and basically a cool guy, so he more or less let it slip, promising to check where the nearest one was.
FAST FORWARD BECAUSE THIS ACTUALLY WASN’T RELEVANT, I JUST REMEMBERED IT.
After basic training, Long was assigned to the same company as I was. During the instruction Q&A held by our 1st Sgt’s “assistant”, some Master Sgt. stuck his head into the room and asked for three volunteers for his office, the entrance requirement being a certain degree of education ((German Abitur, comparable to brit A-Levels, entrance requirement for universities)).
Three volunteers, Long, someone I forgot and me. I won by a coin toss. Long did his comms training in the company and joined another office later.
Some early evening, after hours. Long was out and about, three of us were in our shared room. ((usually the enlisted men bunk with 4-6)). A cellphone rang. Long’s. Being silly even back then, and a little bored, I picked up. It turned out to be Longs girlfriend, who we all had a chat with, really innocent. I don’t remember how long that lasted and why I gave my number, but I did. Because, why not? Yes, I do that sort of thing if someone seems like a nice person, without ulterior motives.
The next Friday afternoon, I had just arrived at home and unpacked, my cellphone rang.
Unknown number. Huh? I picked up. “Hey, it’s Monica ((name changed)). You know, Long’s girlfriend, you gave me your number. So I was wondering, do you know where he is right now? I haven’t heard from him since Wednesday!”
I had no idea where he was, he went off duty same time as I did, that’s all I knew, and I told her that. And that’s about it. I saved the number in my phone, because I like to know who’s calling/texting me and pretty much forgot about it for weeks.
Saturday morning I texted my sister’s friend Monika ((guess what)) , who had planned to stay at our house because she was invited to some party in our village or something. “Hey Moni, the weekend after the next will be fine, you can use Sue’s bed, she’s going to be away. I’ll see you then.”
You see, back then my cellphone could only display 5a limited number of characters. My contacts were arranged by first name. And Monica comes before Monika.
So all this came to mind in that noisy Sunday night, I was able to confirm this by checking my sent texts history (luckily I had that) and scrolling through my contacts. This all wasn’t long before I left the military, if I remember correctly and I never became friends with Long ((the letter box event kinda put me off)) and I am not sure if he believed me but that was my text recipient fail story.
I hope you enjoyed this. Thank’s to Laura Lee for hosting me here, and maybe you’ll come over to visit my blog at http://www.ollicrusoe.net/.