By Robert McMillen
If you are one of the majority of us who have a cell phone, then you’ve done it, or have been a victim of it. You’ve been butt dialed. Maybe you weren’t familiar with the term, but you do know the feeling. You just got off a cell-to-cell phone call with one of your colleagues at work, and suddenly your colleague calls you back 30 seconds later. You say “Hi Joe. Did you forget something?”. But all you’re hear is a methodical sound that can only be described as “scrunching” (Scrunch, scrunch scrunch). You try to call out Joe’s name louder and louder, but Joe just doesn’t hear you. You’ve been the victim of butt dialing.
Butt dialing happens when you forget to lock your phone and you put the phone back into your pocket. Then when you go to sit down, turn a corner, or (hopefully never) go to the bathroom, the phone hits redial.
If it’s a “whooshing” sound then a woman has butt dialed you. I’m not exactly sure why women “whoosh” and men “scrunch”, but it will likely remain one of the mysteries of the universe. As appealing as it sounds to be butt dialed by a woman, it is equally disturbing to be butt dialed by a man.
There is a certain etiquette when someone butt dials you. As soon as you realize you’ve been butt dialed, you need to hang up immediately. If the call comes right back again, then you should hang up and try to call the offending butt. I have had this happen many times and when I try to call back, the butt just refuses to answer. It’s almost as if you could hear it say, “Hey, I have certain uses and answering phones isn’t one of them”. It also lacks the opposable thumbs to get the job done.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to follow etiquette. You want to listen in on any possible conversation that is going on with the person who called you. After all, the owner of that butt might be talking to someone about you! I’ve been there.
Between the scrunching, you can usually hear parts of a conversation. I once had someone butt call me ten times in a row. I yelled out his name to stop butt dialing me to no avail, so I decided to just enjoy the ride (so to speak) and hear what was going on. He was at the hardware store buying something. It could have been paint or wood. The scrunching was just too loud to know for sure. I heard him talking to the cashier and leaving to go to his car. “What was that sound?” I remember thinking to myself. “Was it a horn honking? Eww- I think I should hang up now.”
And that’s the last time I ever listened in on a butt dialed conversation. I have thought about the merits of a lawsuit for “post butt dialed stress syndrome”, but then I would have to explain my eavesdropping on another person’s conversation while the listening device was precariously positioned.
Be a responsible cell phone owner. Lock your phone after hanging up. Maybe your cell phone charges will go down. Your embarrassment certainly will. And if you receive a phone call from someone and you hear a scrunch or a whoosh instead of someone talking to you, hang up. If you hear any bathroom noises I suggest you call your cell phone provider and have your phone disconnected immediately. Change your home phone number just to be safe.
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