Is there some etiquette one should follow when receiving a spam text?
Should one at least read it before erasing it? Should one even attempt a polite reply, even if it is in the negative? Or should one sue the rotten behind off the ungracious crasher who deigns to invade one's cell phone?
If your name is Elizabeth Espinal, you gravitate toward the latter option.
According to the Miami New Times, Espinal was inconvenienced by that slightly creepy King texting her with what she describes in her suit as "cryptic" messages.
You know the kind of thing, enticements to nosh on a splendidly nourishing Burger King steakhouse burger. Or entreaties to please, please try a Mocha BK Iced Coffee. After the first, Espinal allegedly texted back "stop." But the King kept creeping electronically into her life certain, it seems, of winning her over. At least twice more, apparently.
Unimpressed by his wooing her with his "perfect mix of rich coffee and chocolate syrup," Espinal slapped him with what she hopes is a perfect mix of a lawsuit.
The New Times suggested that within Espinal's veritable onion ring of pain lay the idea that she was "caused actual harm" and was "subjected to aggravation."
Now, we all have our own opinions of fast food. Yes, the purchasing process can be aggravating, and yes, very occasionally our digestion can slip a cog in its delicate machinations, resulting in some temporary harm. But could this all be worth $5 million?
Oh, perhaps I didn't mention, but Espinal is allegedly looking for 5 million whopping dollars. Perhaps the King would merely have to sell a couple of his crowns, but still, it does seem like a lot of money.
She appears to have filed the suit in April of this year as a class action and it has not yet received certification. Her no doubt clever lawyers are relying on Section 47 of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which "prohibits unsolicited voice and text calls to cellular phones."
I understand that Espinal might be on the blistered side of peeved to discover she had to pay for the texts that Burger King sent, even though they might have contained patently irresistible enticements.
But $5 million suggests either that she is a very sensitive human being, or that she believes that the only way to deal with an alleged harasser is to harass them right back.
What if she were to somehow win? Might we all be able to sue those who text us with unwanted inducements? I'm not thinking merely of AT&T, which keeps sending me texts with numbers and concepts far beyond my meager rationality.
What about those slightly odd people we meet at parties and networking events? You know, the insurance salesmen to whom we regret giving our phone number, our business cards, even our names--the ones who contact us suggesting a meeting and then contact us three more times. Might we be able to take them for a few million?
I think I'll text my lawyer and ask him.