Mark Chalifoux is a standup comedian in Cincinnati, Ohio.
One day a few months ago, he received a strange text message, the modern day equivalent of what once was a “wrong number” phone call.
It was a group text, actually, the contents of which are a photograph of an old lady with a smiling kid and the caption “Always love going to grammy’s!”
For reasons unknown to him now, he replied.
“Looks like he’s having a blast!”
It was the beginning of a delightfully bizarre story, the sum of which became the impetus for a GoFundMe page, the sole beneficiary a United States military service member deployed overseas.
Allow the professional funnyman to explain the rest (he posted the entire story on his Facebook page and was subsequently interviewed by the Daily Dot — he’s also on Twitter):
A few months back, I was mistakenly included on some family’s group text. It was a pic of a little kid smiling with an old lady, and the text said “Always loves going to grammy’s!”
I responded with “Looks like he’s having a blast!” thinking they’d realize their mistake and remove me.
A day later, pic of the same kid, this time with a toy car, and a text that read “Of course I couldn’t resist buying it for him, fast and furious!” followed by a bunch of texts that were just like “aw, give him a smooch for me!”
I replied to that one with “I don’t know why I’m part of this, but I’m happy that kid got his car” and the person that started it replied “because you are family!”
About two weeks after that, it was a pic of four soldiers in front of a helicopter, with the text “Christian and his unit shipping out for six months.” Most of the responses were immediate, just “Wow, an officer and a gentleman, I pray for him every time we sing the anthem!” and stuff like that.
I replied “Which one is Christian?” thinking, clearly this will establish I had no business being included in this chain.
The person replied “third from the right” so I finally gave up and embraced it, and just said “A true patriot,”,which elicited a bunch of “Amens” and emojis from the rest of the group.
It’s been quiet for the last month, but today the person sent out a long text about how to send Christian a package while on deployment. Anyways, I guess my question is, what do you send in a care package to a complete stranger whose relatives don’t know how to text right?
To visit or contribute to the cause, click here. The goal is 3,000 cookies — Oreos — because according to Chalifoux, when you google what America’s cookie is, the old black and white confectionary staple is what pops up.
For the record, that’s 84 packages in total (each contains 36) being sent somehow, some way, to the aforementioned soldier, defending the U.S. somewhere that’s not here.
At the time this post was published, Mark had $350 of the targeted $500 goal.