Getting a call from a wrong number is always a slightly disconcerting experience, even if you know you’ve got nothing to hide. Maybe it’s just because I’m a pretty anxious person anyway, but I often feel a flutter of panic when I get a call from an unknown number, or a missed call with a voice on the other end I don’t recognise, or even a text or private message from someone who doesn’t know me at all. It’s all to do with our collective aversion to being watched. Nobody likes to feel like they’re under surveillance.
Sometimes a text from a stranger can be very intriguing however, particularly if it’s a case of mistaken identity. You can feel a bit like you’re being given the chance to peer through a window into someone else’s life. If you were a bit of a troll then you could even take the charade one step further, and pretend to be someone you’re not and lead the other party on.
But I don’t think anyone, whether they enjoy adopting different personas or not, would be particularly interested in buying farm livestock from a stranger.
Yes, you heard me right, I’m not going mad, and if you think I’m making this situation up and pulling it out of thin air, then boy have I got news for you. This week a Twitter user’s account of a bizarre exchange between himself and a stranger who was obsessed with trying to buy a cow from him has gone viral, and has been shared repeatedly on social media.
Twitter user Shannon Barbour, a 19-year-old sophomore attending Old Dominion University, received a mysterious message last week from an unknown number. The message read, “There is a Craigslist ad for a heifer with your number listed as a contact.” When Shannon stated that he didn’t know what a heifer was, he was told that it was a term for a female cow. Shannon was adamant that he was not attempting to sell and livestock, female or otherwise.
Yet the cattle-obsessed stranger simply wouldn’t let it go, and soon Shannon was inundated with messages from the weirdo on the other end of the line. The Charlotteville Craigslist ad in question has since been removed from the site, so it looks like we’ll never know who provided Shannon’s number.
Shannon’s tweet about the whole incident, and his screenshots of the exchange quickly went viral on social media. He later told Buzzfeed News “”[Someone called me] and they were asking for a ‘heifer’ or something. I was like, ‘Excuse me? I think you have the wrong number.'” Shannon also added that he suspects that the whole thing was actually an elaborate prank played on him by bored friends who wanted a laugh. “Fifty dollars for a whole cow is kind of suspicious,” he stated, “I guess the farmers saw it and just went nuts for it. That’s how it is here.”
I have to admit, I agree with him, especially when some restaurants are selling a mere steak for that kind of money. Still, I guess the meat that goes into Big Macs has to come from somewhere, right?