Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hypothetical: Black cats and sidewalk cracks

I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and stumbled to the stairs. Under my breath, I cursed my cell phone for beeping a text alert at 4 a.m.

When I reached the main floor of the house, I flipped on the lightswitch.

Forever, I will be grateful that I didn't remain in the dark that morning. I'm afraid of the dark. It freaks me out. So does receiving a text at 4 a.m. that includes a picture like this...

...and a message that says if I don't forward it to at least ten people, the person in the picture will chase me around with a butcher knife until I'm dead, dead, dead.

My friend sent it to me. She thought I'd get a kick out of it. She knows I'm an avid fan of scary movies and creepy stories. In the past, I've managed to give her chills with paranormal tales based on actual events from my childhood.

So, yeah, I probably deserved it.

But anyone who knows me also knows not to poke the bear at 4 a.m. I replied to her text with a few choice names (hey, I lived in a trailer park for nine years and have the vocabulary to prove it). Then I turned off my phone and hid beneath my blankets until the sun came up.

When we stopped laughing about it the following Monday, she told me she had forwarded the message to several people in her address book.


Superstition. She said the text gave her such a nasty case of the heebie-jeebies she was afraid of what might happen if she didn't send it on.

I rolled my eyes.

How could anyone believe such a thing?

After all, it was a chain text. It was no different than those chain e-mails that say if you don't pass on the inspirational message, it proves you don't believe in God.

I hate chain messages -- texts, e-mail, snail mail.

I never thought I'd consider passing one on until a few days later when a different friend said she received one in her mailbox (chain snail mail still exists?) and wanted advice on what to do.

Apparently, an acquaintance had sent my friend a letter with a $2 lottery ticket in it. She was supposed to buy seven more, mail them out and return one to the sender. I guess the idea is that she would eventually get several more back in the mail, increasing her chances of winning money.

"I like the gal that sent it to me and don't want to offend her, but I ain't doin' it," my friend told me. "Do I scratch the lottery ticket and keep it or send it back? Either way, I look like a (expletive), sort of. Also, if I do send it back to her, what do I say?"

I told my friend to scratch the ticket, do whatever she wants with the winnings -- if there are any -- and let her acquaintance learn a valuable lesson about wasting time and money.

Of course, I still was in a tizzy about receiving a chain text with a homicidal ghoul at 4 a.m.

But I'm curious. What would you would do?


Aubrie said...

Good advice! I don't go for those chain mails either.

I like to watch scary movies, and I think that's why I have trouble sleeping at night....but I watch them all the same. ;)

Anonymous said...

LOL. I'm so not into those chain things. When I get them I don't usually forward anything and I really don't worry about what will happen.

Cuz I know nothing will. :-)

Yeah, that picture was a little scary I tell ya. That'd creep me out a second, that's for sure.

Eric said...

I get so irritated by those chain emails/chain text messages. Don't people have something better to do? As for the scratch ticket, I will refer to a very true and applicable saying:

A fool and their money are soon parted.

I'd keep whatever I won and not feel one bit bad about it :)