Why Younger People Text

, , , , , , | Related | November 23, 2019

(I stay with my grandma most summers while my father works. I’m about eight years old, watching TV inside, and Grandma is outside working on her truck. Her landline phone rings.)

Me: *loudly through the open door* “Grandma! The phone is ringing!”

Grandma: “I’ve got oil on my hands; can you answer it and tell them I’ll be right there?”

Me: “Hello–“

Caller: *shouting* “You’re in so much trouble! You oughta be ashamed of yourself! I’m gonna call the sheriff on you and you’re gonna get arrested! And go to jail!

(I hang up and burst into tears just as my grandma walks in.)

Grandma: “Honey, what happened? Why are you crying?”

Me: *blubbering* “The man on the phone was yelling at meeeee! He— He said he was gonna send me to jaaaaaail!”

(The phone rings again and Grandma snatches it off the receiver.)

Grandma: “Who is… [Grandma’s Brother]? Oh, Lord, do you have any idea what you just did, you idiot?”

(Turns out, Grandma’s brother, who lived nearby, noticed he was driving behind Grandma’s truck earlier in the day and that she had a tail light out. He figured he’d call his little sister up and “threaten” to call the sheriff — the sheriff at the time being their older brother. And the reason he was yelling into the phone? He was half-deaf at that point and too stubborn to wear his hearing aids. It took Grandma ten minutes to get me to stop crying, and I didn’t answer her phone again for a month!)

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