Monday, October 03, 2005

The mystery of the renegade cellphone

Usually I don't check my cellphone bill every month. Whatever those bloodsuckers want, I give it to them, no questions asked. No, I am not a trusting person, but yes, I am lazy. Laziness trumps everything. It's a well-known fact.

Anyways, the other day, I ran out of things to surf on the internet, and I decided to visit the website of my cellphone service provider. I scanned my bill and mother of God, what the fuck? I had 100 text messages on my bill in that month. In all, 10 extra bucks to pay. And all of them to the same telephone number. Ranting and raving, I ran to my wife in the other room. I started babbling about humongous cellphone bills and text messages and unidentified phone numbers and bankruptcy.

My wife, who was working on her laptop, without even looking at me, asked me to first go check whose phone those messages went from, mine or hers. We have a joint cellphone account. What do you mean, whose phone, it was your phone, I don't even know how to text message, said I. Go, my wife commanded. I went.

It turned out it was my phone. I couldn't believe my eyes. What the hell, I thought. I looked at the times that these text messages were sent, and I found out that all these messages were sent in a mere 10 minutes. That is, a text message every 6 seconds. To the same number. I suddenly remembered a news article I had read, about Paris Hilton's cellphone being hacked and stuff. I did a search on google on Paris Hilton. Google came up with a number of sex links. Quickly surfing through all of those, I then added the keywords "cellphone hack" to my search phrase. I got a link that appeared to be useful, which explained to me that her cellphone was hacked, and that someone managed to gain access to her voicemail. Shit, I cursed under my breath, that's not what's happened here. If not hacking, then what?

Suddenly, I had a bright idea. A bright idea for someone with my level of brightness, that is. I went to my cellphone outbox folder and checked for any messages. There they were, all 100 of them. Staring up at me, all nice and cozy and mocking me. All with the same message "****". "****" being the name of my cousin. And all going to my cousin. I was stunned. So someone actually did send these messages from my cellphone. But who?

I tried to remember if there had been any time in the past month when I had left my cellphone alone, somewhere devoid of my supervision. But even if I had, what kind of person would arbitrarily text message using someone else's phone every 6 seconds for a full 10 minutes? That too, to someone that person didn't even know? It didn't make any sense.

Then, I had another bright idea. This time, it was bright beyond even my level of brightness. I mean, it was positively blazing. On a hunch, I pressed the right menu button of my cellphone. I pressed it again. I kept pressing. My cellphone went through all the motions expected of it if someone should keep pressing the right menu button. It went through the following menus :

Messages, New SMS, Message body, Message Send, Send to, Address book, Groups, Family, Open, Cousin name, Cousin number select, Message Send doublecheck, Boom send. A text message went out to my cousin. Aha!

So, basically, I found out that if my right menu button was pressed 13 times in succession, an SMS would go to my cousin. It all made sense now. Well, not quite. For 100 messages to be sent to my cousin, the right button would have to be pressed 1300 times in succession. I had never done it. And I always have my cellphone on automatic key lock mode so it doesn't call people inadvertantly. So there must have been some kind of electrical dysfunction within the cellphone, which kept sending a signal to the CPU that appeared to be from the right menu button, thus sending 100 text messages. At least, that is my surmise. Although I still do not know for sure.

The only question that needs to be asked now is whether my cousin has disowned me. Because I haven't heard from her for a long time. Maybe I should call her to find out. Or maybe text message her. Yeah, let me do that.

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