On July 3, 2019 at 6:15 am, I discovered a missed call from Ned (my son’s father-in-law). The call attempted to wake me at 4:15 am. My iPhone, in Do Not Disturb mode, didn’t disturb me.
My decaffeinated, just awake, barely past dawn mind imagined the worst. My son had been mauled by a bear, attacked by a lion, or worse a Demogorgon from the Upside Down had infiltrated his home, and I’d have to string lights together to communicate with him. (If you haven’t watched “Stranger Things” get with it!) Apparently the same fate had befallen my daughter-in-law or she would have called me instead of Ned. (I didn’t worry about my granddogs. Maggie would have slept through it, and Zoey would have greeted the Demogorgon with a tennis ball to throw.) Yes, it definitely was a Demogorgon emergency.
I called Ned. The conversation went something like this:
Ned: Hello, Anita, how are you?
Me: (Thinking that he was rather calm considering it was a Demogorgon emergency.) I’m fine. Is everything ok?
Ned: Yes, Raida and I are on an excursion in Budapest.
Me: (Wondering if he’s consulting a Demogorgon expert in Hungary.) Budapest?
Ned: Yes, we’re on a Viking river cruise.
Me: (Leaving out the Demogorgon from the Upside Down emergency theory.) So everything is fine with you and the kids?
Ned: Yes, all is well. Why do you ask?
Me: I received a call from you at 4:15 am this morning and thought that the Demo . . . um . . I just wanted to make sure everything was ok.
Ned: I didn’t call.
Me: You butt dialed. It happens every now and then to everyone. Take care and enjoy your cruise.
A few weeks later while walking in my garden, I heard my friend, Mary Ellen, shouting at me from my back pocket. I retrieved my iPhone and not only heard her but saw her.
Our conversation went something like this.
Me: Hi, I can’t FaceTime now. The landscaper from Countryside is here.
Mary Ellen: Then why did you call me?
Me: I didn’t call.
Mary Ellen: I answered so that means you called.
Me: (Hoping I had not worried her with a false Demogorgon emergency alert) I think I butt FaceTimed you. Sorry.
Since I thought these two incidents humorous, I texted Raida and Ned about it.
My text went something like this:
Anita: I butt FaceTimed my friend in Canada. Although impressive, Ned still holds the record for “longest distance butt dialing” in our elite group!
Ned: If you are going to do something then do it right or do it big.
Raida: You two are so proud of butt calls. I’m jealous!
(I want to insert here that I’m really lucky that my son married into a family that appreciates inane humor and silliness.)
Me: No worries! You can be a butt-dialing trainee. Here’s what you do. First, wear snug pants. Second, put your phone in your back pocket. Third, fly to Budapest. Fourth, find a garden and walk around. That should do it.
Afterwards I wondered if the instructions were the most effective for producing the maximum number of butt calls. This question bounced around my head until I Googled “How to butt dial intentionally.” Amazingly there was NO information about it. So I Googled “How to stop butt dialing” and did the opposite.
I opened my contacts, inserted the front of the phone in my back pocket facing my body, and walked for three miles wearing snug shorts.
It didn’t work. No miscalls.
Maybe I should have walked in Budapest.