By MIKE VINSON
Most who own a high-tech Smartphone have either sent out a "butt call" or received one.
I suppose a passable, layman's definition for "butt call" is: A person sticks the Smartphone down inside the back pocket of a pair of pants/shorts being worn, and as the overly-sensitive Smartphone jostles around in the pocket due to physical movement, it bounces against the owner's butt and, inadvertently, dials a number on the phone's contact list. Without the Smartphone owner's knowledge, the person on the other end is hearing everything being said.
Common logic affirms butt calls have been responsible for many social, romantic, business, and criminal disasters: one-time friends becoming the most bitter of enemies, married couples divorcing, once-thriving businesses shredded by lawsuits, people being physically assaulted... even killed!
As I've written in the past, I begrudgingly switched, out of necessity, from my old, reliable, 20-dollar flip phone to a Smartphone back around August-September 2014. And what an anxiety-filled tribulation the first couple days were with the new Smartphone, learning just the basics: how to send and receive calls, how to send and receive texts, hit the wrong button and you're jammed up, App this & App that...geez!
After much help from some tech-savvy friends, and much trial and error, I eventually rose to a level of Smartphone competence enabling me to, pretty much, do business as needed. With that, I'm going to take an acute turn and tell you a story about how a "butt call" and "one syllable" in a single word could have been the difference in a young man, a friend, being free versus him being locked up in jail.
Incarcerated in a local jail for several months, this young man was eligible for release. However, authorities wouldn't release him because he didn't have a suitable residence, one sanctioned by the court. Thus, he remained in jail for approximately one month after he was eligible for release, frustrating to say the least.
It was Thursday, April 2, 2015, and I was in Bowling Green, Ky. I received a call from someone in the court system: There was an opening for my friend at a "halfway" house in another town. Would I be willing to pick him up the following Monday, April, 6, and drive him to the halfway house? I confirmed I would be happy to transport him to the halfway house.
Having been given the telephone number to the halfway house--just to establish contact and make sure everything was solid--I called the halfway house and left a message. Well, around 8 p.m. that night, April 2, I received a call from the man-in-charge of the halfway house. Attempting to nail down the specifics to ensure I delivered my friend to the proper location at the proper time, I listened and took notes regarding directions to the halfway house. (NOTE: For reasons of security, I'm not using the actual street name, but a "pseudo" name, instead.)
I was to deliver my friend to 688 Amelo Street. However, when I googled the street and city, I couldn't come up with anything that matched! What was I going to do?! I'll just have to figure it out, somehow, I conceded, still worried something might slip through the cracks. About twenty minutes later, though, my phone rang, and, much to my glee, it was the man who ran the halfway house! He apologized, saying he'd accidentally made a "butt call."
While I had him on the phone, I asked him to, slowly and loudly as possible, spell out the name of the street where I was supposed to bring my friend. As it turned out, it was 688 Amelio Street, not 688 Amelo Street (again, not the real street name). I googled it on MapQuest and directions were precise.
I delivered my friend to the halfway house as scheduled, and he's doing quite well. I often wonder how things would've ended up if it hadn't been for the "butt call" and clearing up that "one syllable."