Riverview — In this age of connectedness, people can access information instantly without having to make small talk before getting to their needs of the conversation via text, email or countless other direct methods of communication. But, one weird guy still chooses to make his friends uncomfortable by using an archaic method of conversation: the phone call.
Gerald Peterson is a 27-year-old sandwich artist from Riverview who says he simply prefers to actually speak to people rather than trying interpret their true feelings by reading cryptic texts.
“First, I’d like to explain that when I say I’m a sandwich artist, that doesn’t mean I work for Subway,” he explained. “I actually make all sorts of sandwich art, sometimes by way of paintings or drawings, and sometimes with actual sandwiches.”
Peterson continued to say that he feels it’s important to make actual phone calls rather than texting like a normal human being.
The Manatee found a few of Peterson’s friends, though it seems most have abandoned him due to his need to make phone calls, and asked them about their friend’s preferred method of communication.
“We became friends when we were going to sandwich art school together,” recalled Linus Norad, “and I totally remember the first time he called me and being really weirded out. We were going to go to a party together and he said that he’d get a hold of me later that day. So, I’m sitting at home and all of the sudden I hear this weird alarm sound coming from my phone — I had no idea what it was. I pick my phone up to see what was wrong and it was vibrating and making an awful noise and said ‘Gerald is calling.’ I honestly had no idea before then that my phone even had a phone app — I didn’t download one, it just came with it I guess.”
Norad continued to tell our reporter about the awkward conversation that ensued.
“I finally figured out how to answer the call, and I didn’t even know what to say, I just kind of stumbled through the conversation in shock. I figured he would text me or a Facebook message, a tweet, maybe a message on LinkedIn, or send an Instagram, at the very least an email. I never expected a phone call; I wasn’t even sure you could still do that.”
One of Peterson’s former friends, Janet Young, said that the whole phoning thing became too weird for her to continue their friendship.
“I was even kind of interested in maybe dating the guy,” she admitted, “and then he started calling me — it was very odd. I was out to dinner with some friends one evening and my phone started ringing. I was so embarrassed! I just told everyone that it was my mother and ignored it.”
Young said that she confronted Peterson about the calling and told him she was ending their friendship unless he could start talking to her like a normal person, without actually talking.
“I just told him that I didn’t have time in my life for talking on the phone,” she sadly remembered. “He tried calling a few times after that but I never answered and eventually deleted him as a contact. I haven’t gotten a single phone call since.”
The Manatee did find one person in Peterson’s Rolodex — an actual real-life Rolodex — who said that she loved getting calls from him: his grandmother.
“Oh, that Gerald is such a sweet boy,” Nana told us. “He calls me every single day and he’s always giving me paintings and pictures of different sandwiches. That’s why he’s Nana’s special boy.”
The Manatee is confident that unless Peterson changes his communication method, he will remain “Nana’s special boy” and no one else’s, ever.