Those funny, bizarre and often alcohol-induced text messages sent in the middle of the night don't necessarily die by dawn.
They can live on in cyberspace, courtesy of textsfromlastnight.com.
The site takes submissions of text messages and posts them anonymously for all the world to read. No registration. No fee. Just enter an area code and the text, then hit send. The wizards behind Texts From Last Night will sort through the entries and post their favorites.
A few examples:
• I knocked on some strangers door, you didn't have to give me a fake hotel room number
• just got pizza delivered to the hot tub. its easier than i thought to be this lazy
Ben Bator and Lauren Leto started the site in February primarily for their friends but expanded it to anyone in late April. It's gone from getting five to 10 text messages a day to 5,000 to 10,000, only a fraction of which get posted on the site. Its Facebook page has more than 174,000 fans.
"It's really interesting what people do after 3 a.m.,'' Bator said. "Generally, it starts with tequila.''
The texts are ambiguous and lack context. People can comment on messages and vote for the best and worst nights, but the entire exchange is anonymous, even to the site's owners. Only the sender knows if the text was real.
Users can submit single texts or a short back and forth exchange.
• dude! the alphabet song and twinkle twinkle little star are like the same tune
• what drug did you take to come to that conclusion??
Texts From Last Night weeds out copyrighted, viciously personal, racist, profane or violent texts. What remains isn't for kids or the prim. These texters aren't shy. Their thumbs often speak of sex, body parts and booze.
Based in Detroit, the site has a large following in the 248 and 313 area codes but gets texts from all over country and even a few countries. Surprisingly — or not — Tampa's 813 is well-represented.
"I want to go to Tampa on a Saturday,'' Bator said. "It sounds fun."
Bator, 22, and Leto, 23, graduated from Michigan State University with law school on the brain. Leto recently finished her first year at Wayne State University; Bator intends to start this fall, he said, hinting that plans could change.
They run Texts From Last Night as mostly a hobby. "I don't know if reading texts all day could be considered a job,'' Bator said with a laugh. Advertising on the site covers most expenses, which are minimal.
Bator and Leto post the texts from their homes, coffee shops and any place with WIFI. The majority of the messages make them laugh. A few just leave them baffled.
"It has a voyeuristic quality,'' Bator said. "The ambiguity makes it more entertaining. You can finish the story of the night in your mind.''