One of my guilty pleasures is the site texts from last night, a site that posts random mobile text messages sent to and from anonymous people, mostly college-aged kids, usually drunk, high, or hungover.
A few recent examples:
(407): i went to disney world today with my friends, met snow white, then saw her later at a bar. she is naked next to me in her bed, passwed out. when you wish upon a star…
(914): last night you decided it was time to “get organized” and “straighten out your life.” You pulled out a bag of troll dolls, sorted through them and got nostalgic. You demanded both andy and i take one and keep it forever.
(301): We’re so high we’re finding things in the room to build a submarine with. So far we have two cardboard boxes, a piece of wood, puffy paint, and an empty bottle to use as a periscope.
(828): finding my wedding ring encrusted in vomit this morning really just topped off last night…
(212): i want you now
(916): you need to stop dating girls with the same name as your mother…or stop drinking so much…I don’t want to see this
Aside from the basic humor payoff, what I love about all of these is that the texts tell a story. Or at least, they deliver just enough to hint at the story behind the text. You don’t know what happened, or who was involved, or what happens next. You get just enough to spark a reaction, and your imagination fills in the gaps and the missing pieces. If nothing else, texts from last night shows that you don’t need many words to tell a good story.
The drunken students and twenty-somethings who tap these messages into their phones aren’t probably thinking of themselves as crafting narrative or engaging in storytelling, but that’s what they’re doing.