There's a really excellent thriller from the 1940s called Sorry, Wrong Number. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing a woman who overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and tries to prevent it.
Now, as good as this movie is, it reminds me why I don't bother to pick up the phone for numbers I don't recognize (and yes, obviously, this film takes place in the days long before caller ID).
But calls from wrong numbers aren't all annoying or even bad (though at least one story below might just be). We heard all about people's experiences after Redditor cowgary asked the online community,
"What is your strangest wrong number story?"
"I got a call..."
"I got a call at like 6 am, and I was still sleeping so I kind of didn't understand what was happening- but this person was SO EXCITED to tell me that they got the new job, and they recognized I was still half asleep so they said they'd call me back later, and said "I love you." - I just said, "I love you too, I'm glad you got the job." I absolutely did not know that person and they never called back, but I think of that call all the time."
Oh no! I bet this keeps you awake at 3 a.m., huh?
"For some reason..."
"An old friend of mine got a wrong number text from a mother responding to an ad about a used electric wheelchair for her child.
For some reason, he used got a lot of wrong number texts. He would usually have a little fun with the sender before telling them they had the wrong number, and share it on social media.
But this time, he didn't mess with her (obviously). He posted it on social media and asked around if anyone knew where to find a used electric wheelchair. The mother couldn't afford a new one. It got a lot of attention, but nobody could find one for sale. After a couple of days of no luck, anonymous donors bought and donated to them a brand-new electric wheelchair.
More heart-warming than strange, but a good story either way."
"I hung up..."
"Guy: Is Steve there?
Me: You have the wrong number.
Guy: Nice try, numbnuts, put Steve on the phone now.
Me: You really do have the wrong number.
Guy: Is this (my phone number)?
Guy: Then it's the right number, isn't it? Put Steve on the phone.
I hung up and then he continued to call and leave threatening voicemails for a few hours, until he either got bored, realized he had the wrong number, or perhaps died of hypertension from being so angry all the time."
That's scary. Perhaps he did realize he had the wrong number––which is all the better for you.
"I was home from college..."
"I was home from college for Christmas break around 2014 and ended up chilling downtown with a few buddies from high school who were also in town for the holidays.
While hanging out, I received a group text with a bunch of numbers I didn't recognize. The message was a group picture with people who were obviously at a Christmas party. I made the only logical choice and immediately sent a selfie back with the message "wrong number."
The rest of the people in this text absolutely loved this and responded with "hahaha"s and "you're kinda cute" texts, until one person said, "You should come to our Christmas party!"
The party was only a few blocks away from where I was hanging out, so I left my friends and went to the party.
I find the apartment, walk-in, and it had a "record scratch moment" like from a cheesy 90s movie. Everyone goes silent stares at me: I am the only white person there. After a few seconds, the host shatters the silence with the shout: "It's wrong number guy!"
We end up doing shots and partying for The next few hours! By far the BEST wrong number experience ever!"
There is always a level of risk when you go to a stranger's home but this sounds like it ended really well. Hopefully you kept in touch?
"She talked to me..."
"I had a little old lady call me 3 different times to reach her friend who was all alone for the first mothers day. She had this rich joyous voice with southern accent blended with her Jamaican accent.
She talked to me about her grandson that was her pride and joy. She was thrilled to hear stories of my wee ones on mother's day. We shared some great stories and laughs.
Each call Sue and I had a lovely chat and reviewed the phone numbers. She just kept getting that pesky area code wrong. She kept saying God wanted us to chat. It was a great moment."
Parents Explain Which Things Surprised Them Most When Their Child Moved Out | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"Back in my community college days I had a pretty tight clique, but we lost touch when I transferred to university. After that I did an MA, so I was gone quite a while. The rest of them stayed tight.
Well, when I moved back to town after finishing my MA, I was invited to a New Year's Eve party by one of my old friends. At this party was Gina, a girl I had had a crush on, but never got anywhere with. A few years later we had a pretty good time at the party, and ended up in the same car home.
So we were in the back seat and started fooling around.
Next day I wake up with a massive headache and a text message from someone I didn't know saying things like "If you touch my girl again I will break your arms!" I texted back "I'm not so sure she's your girl." The response: "Wait, 206 area code? Where is that?" "Seattle." "Sorry dude, wrong number."
I never saw Gina again though."
"Got a call from a government agency..."
"Got a call from a government agency, FDA maybe? Anyway, the first thing the lady says to me is, "We got a call that you have a problem with goats?" I'm like no, sorry, wrong number. "Are you sure you don't have a goat problem?" Nope. "Ok thanks, sorry about the confusion."
Are you sure it wasn't the Department of Agriculture? Just saying.
"He sounded lonely..."
"Got a call from an older dude, told him wrong number and the exchange went as follows:
Me: Sorry wrong number
Him: Oh alright, sorry to bother you
Me: Okay b-
Him: How are you?
Me: Umm, good you?
Him: Eh I'm alright.
Me: Alright, well uh… gotta go bye
He sounded lonely so I felt bad, but I was just so thrown off and had no idea what to say."
Aww. Poor guy. Hopefully he found someone to talk to.
"Later that night..."
"A picture was sent to me from a group of numbers I'd never seen before. I opened the message and it was a photo of a white family standing around a casket. There was a sign behind the casket that read "we'll miss you, Aunt Sandy" It gave me the chills but I had no idea what to say, I had no idea who they were. I left it on read and went about my day.
Later that night, someone from that group texted "you didn't show up, the least you could do is text your condolences to your family"
I went downstairs, took a selfie with my black grandfather and Guatemalan grandmother, and said "my condolences, but I do believe you have the wrong number"
One person sent a single 😂 emoji and another person replied "I AM SO SORRY"
Never heard from them again. Hope they were able to find whatever family member that played funeral hooky though."
You see, as interesting as some of these stories are, they have not convinced me to answer numbers that I just don't recognize. Guess I'll be missing out on all the fun.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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It's become increasingly hard to get through a day without encountering a scam artist.
Be it an email where you've been told you won a non-existent prize, a fraudulent call from the IRS claiming there's a warrant issued for your arrest, or a neighborhood psychic, luring you in to tell you a terrible fate awaits you, but you have to pay hundreds of dollars more to find out what it is.
From snake oil salesmen to Ponzi schemes, scam artists have been around for ages, and will not be going anywhere any time soon.
And while our hearts break for anyone who falls victim to these horrendous acts of deception, there is also little that is more compelling than reading about some of the more outrageous scams which ever took place (Fyre Festival anyone).
"What is the biggest scam in the history of mankind?"
Un-Holy Matrimony Is More Like it...
"The wedding industry is one big scam."- Resafalo
Tax Fraud Has Several Forms...
"Telling me to figure out my own taxes."
"Then, they tell me I did it wrong. If you know how much I owe, just tell me and I’ll pay it!!'- dinahsaur523
Just Don't Tell Tom Cruise...
"L Ron Hubbard is quite a fascinating man to learn about, terrible, terrible man, he began lying at a young age and then never stopped afterwards."
"Becoming a billionaire out of that creepy cult like 'religion' is the biggest scam of all time."- Joe_PM2804happy tom cruise GIF by South Park Giphy
You Do Just Keep Needing More...
"Printer ink."- Mr_BananaPants
Spending More Money With The Slip Of A Finger
"The ads that claims to be inter actable but when your finger barely touches the screen it takes you to AppStore."- AnimePeter_
"Textbook access codes that you get after buying a new textbook and can use only once."- SuvenPanBg3 GIF by Larian StudiosGiphy
The Money Goes Somewhere...
"Payday loan companies."- Im_Negan
It Runs In The Family!
"My mom telling me she won't be mad if I tell her the truth."- Low_Quarter_583
Maybe Not A Girls Best Friend...
"Diamonds."- TheCyrcusdiamonds GIFGiphy
Scams Fine If It's the Nazis Your Scamming...
"Eye doctor here."
"I'd like to dispel the myth regarding carrots and good vision or night vision because of a scam set forth by Britain at the time to screw with the enemy."
"They had just started performing night air raids and the Germans couldn’t figure out how they were accurately flying and bombing in the dead of night so the Brits printed in their newspapers that they were feeding their pilots carrots to improve their night vision and how good carrots were for your vision due to the beta carotene."
"Turns out that the Brits had just effectively mounted radar units to their planes for the first time and beat Germans to the punch with it."
"The truth is that beta carotene, while important for vision, is rarely in short supply in most diets and you can probably get enough out of a few packets of ketchup for weeks of good vision."
"Meanwhile, here we are now approaching 100 years after the development of radar still eating the lies of carrots."- OscarDivine
It's amazing the lengths people will go to deceive people for money.
And that sometimes they actually get away with it.
But as a general rule of thumb, if something seems like it's too good to be true, then it probably is.
Some Americans have been known to wish they lived elsewhere in the world, owing to certain things appearing to be much better handled elsewhere.
Up to and including healthcare, free education, cost of living, or simply the way they make pizza or coffee.
However, sometimes we must stop and remind ourselves that the grass is always greener in someone else's yard.
As there are plenty of people all over the world who wish they were living in the USA, believing that some things are simply done better in America.
"What does America do better than most other countries?"
The Versatility Of Corn!
"Turning corn into things that are not corn."- rlemon
"I was going to say cornbread but everyone said rest stops. Have y’all ever had cornbread?"- Admirable-Ad-2554
The Pause That Refreshes
"I love the Interstate Rest Areas on road trips."
"I'm a Canadian from the west coast, and was always VERY impressed with the 24/7 rest areas."
"Clean washrooms, nice grassy areas for dogs, picnic tables, and a lot of times people selling crafts, or offering free coffee!"
"I've only driven through the western states, (WA,OR,CA,NV,UT,AZ) but yeah, those rest areas were always reliable."
"Always well-marked signs when the next one was coming up."
"Just made everything about traveling easier!"
"Thanks neighbors!"- Ubba-GaGiphy
"Jazz, the Blues."- BretonVikander
...But Maybe Not The Airports...
"Aircraft carriers."- TheBladeRodenFlying Take Off GIF by U.S. NavyGiphy
A Breath Of Fresh Air
"National Parks."- Big-Win6220
"We have nearly every biome on Earth available in the lower 48 alone."
"Adding Alaska and Hawaii just completes the set."
"Is there any biome that doesn't exist in The US?"- Ursa_Mid
A Nice Cold Drink
"Make sure there's ice in your beverage."- HegemonHarbingerWater Day GIF by ZinZenGiphy
Very Logical Indeed
"Serious answer? "
"We're quite a large country and we've gotten very good at moving things around."- weirdoldhobo1978
America is what it is today all owing to the fact that people came here for a better life.
No question, America has its issues, hence why no one mentioned our political system or our electoral process.
But it's the things that are uniquely and unequivocally American which makes people feeling lucky to be living here.
There are very few people in the United States who don't indulge in fast food every once in a while.
Sometimes it's out of pleasure, taking an occasional indulgence in the delicious, salty, if less than healthy, treats the food chains provide.
Other times, it might be out of necessity, as it might be the only option while on the road or waiting in the airport after your flight was canceled for the second time.
But there are some fast food chains to which people have such an aversion to that they simply will not eat from them, even if it is literally the only option.
Making one almost wish that these places would go out of business, so that they will never even be an option.
Redditor rcinvestments was eager to hear which fast food chains people wish would go out of business, and thus no longer be found in rest stops and airport food courts, leading them to ask:
"What fast food chain should go out of business?"
Long John Silver's
"i swear Long John Silvers is just a money laundering front."- FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF1234Seafood Hushpuppies GIF by Long John Silver'sGiphy
"I’m starting to question getting subway multiple times a month."- Moose_dude16439
"They brand as fresh and healthy but are neither."
"The food is awful."- Emergency_Sundae6842
"I’d be down to get rid of subways but only if all locations were replaced with better sub/deli sandwich shops."
"Cause that’s about the one thing Subway has on anyone else, proximity."
"I do love the cookies too."- Forsuremaybe_
"You can’t get a footlong for less than $10 now and it’s not even a good sandwich compared to just about anywhere else."
"Firehouse and Jersey Mike’s are better, but nothing great, don’t @ me. Go local on this one fools."- AllGarbageSub GIF by Subway SverigeGiphy
"KFCs quality has DROPPED in the last 10 years."
"It’s not the same delicious, well cooked chicken I remember."- Graceland1979
"Is Burger King even trying anymore? "
"When I was a kid I remember them being a legit competitor to McDonalds and Wendy's was barely an afterthought."
"Now its McDonald's vs. Wendy's for me."
"McDonald's vs. Burger King for me now feels like WalMart vs. K-Mart and then Wendy's is Target."- basedlandchad20
"Going to a Burger King is like playing Russian Roulette but with food poisoning."
"The quality of the locations varies so much it's crazy."- SquilliamFancySon95
"As sad as it makes me, Burger King."
"At least in the part of the US I live in."
"It’s been years since I was satisfied by the taste, thanks to undercooked Pattie’s, cold hard buns, stale fries, employees that seem like they’d rather not be there, drive through as that smell like rotted soft drinks, and overall the locations are looking run down."
"Even their advertising has been sloppy and sometimes outright inappropriate."- RustliefLameManeScared The Shining GIFGiphy
"Golden Corral needs to go."
"People touching food, coughing and sneezing by the food, kids grabbing plates and then putting back."
"Food is absolutely bland."
"The best tasting food there is the iceberg lettuce if that's any indication how bad the food is."- kimsuh
Of course, the quality of the food might not alway be the reason people wish some places would go out of business.
Sometimes, the food might simply be so good that you find yourself unable to resist your temptations.
Ask anyone with an office in close proximity to a Shake Shack.
And these days, who's office ISN'T in close proximity to a Shake Shack...
What one person finds sexy is anther person's ick factor.
It's an eternal debate.
The mind, the heart, pheromones... it's a messy combo.
To each their own.
Redditor PetrichorPrints wanted to hear about what makes many of you tingle in ways the rest of us don't get.
"What’s something other people find sexy that you just can’t understand?"
I'm not telling you my secrets. But I'll listen to yours.
"People doing fillers to make their cheek bones look more 'refined.' it just looks like you got stung by a bee."
"There was a dude years ago that I was seeing, we're on a webcam and he said he liked my crease. Had no idea what he was talking about and he kept saying 'right there.' Turns out he likes armpit creases."
"That is oddly specific. Congrats, you taught me that literally anything can be a turn-on for the right people."
"That voice some women put on to seem cutesy/sexy, I can only describe it as 'baby voice', but it just annoys me. Talk like an adult."
"That's the voice I use to talk to my cat. She doesn't care if I talk in my normal voice, but slap the baby tone on it and she's all ears."
"My wife had a friend who did that baby voice. Not all the time, just when she thought she was being cute. It used to drive me crazy, especially in the car. One day when I was driving them back from a crafting event we had agreed to drop her off at her place. As we got closer, she baby talked , You don’t have to stop. Just slow down and I will jump out. Hehehehe.”
"After we dropped her off, I mimicked her 'I’ll just jump out. Hehe.'"
"My wife said, 'I felt like shoving her out the door and shouting, Tuck and roll, *itch!'"
"Interrupting while I'm asleep."
"Yes! I always wondered if I was in some very tiny minority because it seems to be labeled as a 'hot' thing to do. Waking me up in the middle of the night, you’re going to get someone angry, disheveled, and confused. I’m surely not going to be rearing to go. I don’t even like being touched in my sleep. We have the whole waking day to bang."
"Omg this is a double edged sword for me, because I love the fantasy of my husband taking me when he wants but the actual execution of this? Nope nope nope! Let me sleep!"
"The serious/intense 'model' face (ie. Blue Steel). Completely unsexy."
"I’m assuming you mean faces 'like' Blue Steel but not actually Blue Steel itself which is incredible."
Werk. Stand. Give. Face.
"I don't understand the big breast implants some women get. Breast implants are fine but the huge a** ones are just a massive turn off."
"Totally get this. I've always felt the same way. Until I met my wife. The first time I saw her breasts I was flabbergasted! 'Cos they're not over the top while she's dressed. But once they're free and breezy I immediately questioned their authenticity! She never hid the fact they aren't real, but my word they've changed my mind on augmentation! Teardrop implants can be (trust me) magnificent!"
"Being mean to someone. I understand it's 'I'm so sexy I can treat you like crap' attitude, but what about 'I'm so confident, I don't have to put people down' confidence?"
"If you mean someone getting turned on by another person being mean to them then it's almost always a domination thing."
"I question more the people who are with these a**holes. I don't get how someone likes that at all unless they're masochistic. And even if they are, I would imagine they would want someone who's only that way in the bedroom and not all the time."
Well, that is quite the list!
What would you add to this? Let us know in the comments below.