Stephanie Bovee, a 28-year-old from Portland, woke up at 5am to a text from her sister saying only "lap." She immediately thought that something had happened to her newborn nephew in the hospital.
She started calling everyone. Her sister and her sister's husband did not answer. She woke her mother, and cheated on her. It was three hours before she learned that everything was fine and the text was a strange anomaly.
"It's fun now," she said. "But out of context, it wasn't cool."
If you woke up Thursday to a strange text that seemed completely out of place, you're not alone. A mysterious wave of missives swept America's phones overnight, delivering largely incomprehensible messages from friends, family and occasional items.
Friends who had not talked to each other for months were furious to talk. Others panicked briefly.
The best explanation seems to be that old texts sent in the spring suddenly went through. Two people said they found out that the original messages were never received. It is not clear why this months-long delay happened. Telephone companies blamed others and gave no further explanation.
Bovee realized that people got some of her old texts that couldn't be reviewed when her sister and a colleague both received texts she had sent in February. The text her sister received wished her a happy Valentine's Day.
Mobile carriers offered little useful explanations for the phenomenon of strange text, which appeared to be widespread, at least according to social media.
A Sprint spokeswoman said it was the result of a "maintenance update" for messaging platforms at several US carriers and will not explain further. T-Mobile called it a "third-party provider problem." Verizon and AT&T did not answer questions.
Marissa Figueroa, a 25-year-old from California, received an unwanted message from an ex she had stopped talking to ̵[ads1]1; and then he got one from her as well. Neither actually sent them last night, both said. Figueroa couldn't figure it out, even worrying that her ex would mess with her, until she saw reports of this happening to others.
"It didn't feel good," she said. "It just wasn't good for me and my mental health to be in contact with him."
A friend who just returned to life received a mystifying message from Joseph Gomez at. In that text, Gomez seemed to assume she was heading over to his house so they could order a Lift.
It took half an hour of texting back and forth and help from a screen to clean up the situation. Can the relationship recover? Gomez, 22, said it was "confusion, then difficult, and then funny." No mixed messages there.
– The Associated Press