SALT LAKE CITY -- A text-message conversation between two strangers that has gone viral has many asking whether "it just gets stranger," as the title of the blog it appeared on suggests.
Salt Lake City's Eli McCann was at his parents' house for Sunday dinner Dec. 11 when he received a text from a stranger who apparently had the wrong number. The stranger, Jane, was brainstorming ideas for a wedding gift for a mutual friend.
The exchange that followed launched McCann's personal blog, "It Just Gets Stranger," into the spotlight, as the post received 100,000 views over a two-week period and was shared repeatedly on social networks.
McCann said he did not expect the 41-message conversation to last as long as it did, but he was grateful for the entertainment.
"I really thought she would maybe respond once or twice, but she would sort of figure it out," he said. But it just went on and on. I don't know if she suspected anything or if she didn't want to believe it, but for whatever reason she just kept going, which was really fun for me."
After attempting to talk the unknown texter into buying her friends Snuggies, McCann finally sent her a picture of himself in a Snuggie.
"Why did you keep texting me when you knew I had the wrong number?" Jane asked.
Unknown: Hey Amanda! This is Jane. I was thinking for Beth's wedding gift we could go halfsies on one of those blocks of wood that says words like faith and hope that they could put on a mantle or hang on the wall. What do you think?
Eli: Hmmm ... I saw couples snuggies at K-Mart the other day on sale for 9.99 and I think this is probably more of what she's looking for. It's more practical.
Unknown: Lol! That's what I got them for their birthdays! But seriously, what do you think about the wood block idea?
Eli: Ok ... I know for a fact you didn't get them snuggies for their birthdays because I talked to Beth recently and asked her which kind she would want if she got one as a wedding gift and she didn't say anything about already having one ...
Unknown: Oh Amanda, I was just joking. Sorry. :( Tell me more about your snuggie idea?
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Jane contacted McMann purposefully Dec. 18, this time to tell him she had seen his blog post. Another 40-plus text- message conversation served only to frustrate Jane further.
"This is all going to end up on your blog again, isn't it …" she said.
It would, with her permission, and it boosted the blog's pageviews to more than 150,000 over a two week period.
"The reaction to all of this was the bizarre part," McCann said. "I've never had a huge blog readership, but within 24 hours tons and tons of people had posted it and were discussing it."
McCann said he is attempting to make his posts appeal to a broader base as readership grows, but he would like to keep "It Just Gets Stranger" largely similar to what it was in the past: "a humor blog with insight."
"There seem to be some readers who are going to stick around, and that's very exciting," he said. "I don't know where it will go but it's kind of fun to see it growing."
Also fun has been witnessing the reactions of others to the posts. McCann said he has received largely positive feedback from people who have visited his blog.
"People have left comments saying, ‘You have no idea how badly I needed a laugh today;' it's nice to see that effect on people. I hope I can keep writing in a way that will brighten others' days: humor that can be lighthearted and fun, that doesn't have to degrade other people."
Respecting Jane's wishes, McCann said he would not reveal her identity, which he has discovered since the conversations took place. She has been a good sport, though, and McCann said the two might keep in touch "here and there."
"A lot of people have asked if we are going to start dating," he said. "I don't think that's going to happen, as fun as it would be for the story."