Somewhere along the way, I found myself fascinated with Shoenice. I am by no means proud of my love for Shoenice videos—I'll be the first to admit that watching a video of a middle-aged man sitting by himself and eating an entire birthday cake (including the burning candles) is more than just a little dark. So naturally I'm not proud to admit that when Shoenice posted his phone number to Facebook on Saturday morning, I immediately picked up my phone to call him. I got his voicemail, hung up, and didn't think anything else of it.
That is until I got a handful of blocked phone calls a few minutes later. I answered one, and it was from what sounded like a prepubescent boy telling me to fuck off. It was when I answered another to hear someone impersonating Shoenice's video introduction line ("Hey everyone, Shoenice again," as demonstrated in this video of him eating a dozen raw eggs, shells and all) that I started to realize I had made a huge mistake. Curiosity was about to kill the cat.
I immediately went to YouTube to figure out what was happening. He had, minutes before, posted a video titled INCOMING TEXT WORLD RECORD 135 IN 5 MINUTES to his channel. I started watching the video and everything that was happening clicked into place: Shoenice was posting his number over and over again on Facebook, telling his followers to send him text messages so he could rack up as many as possible over the course of a five-minute video. He was holding his cell phone up to the webcam as the messages came in. And then, there it was, clear as day. My phone number was on display in a Shoenice video:
What followed was an entire day of phone calls and text messages from Shoenice fans and followers. Most of the calls were what sounded like children quoting Mr. Schewe's best-known lines ("Fuck yawwwww!" and "Thank yawwwww!"), while others made attempts at malicious prank phone calls. At one point I answered the phone to what I'm pretty sure was a 12-year-old boy who told me to "stop calling Shoenice, you faggot!" Oh, OK. So now I'm being harassed by a child. Great.
The text messages were pretty much more of the same:
What was mostly just a giant annoyance turned into something that had the potential to become seriously overwhelming, when, at a point I would consider the climax of this episode, I received texts from about 20 different people, each one sending me three different messages in rapid succession: the first was "on your mark," the next was "get set," and finally, "SHOENICE!" These, of course, as any dedicated Shoenice fan will tell you, are the words he utters before indulging in whatever horrific thing it is he's about to eat. (For a good example, how about this video of him slamming an entire bottle of Everclear? He says it right before the bottle hits his lips.)
The texts were rushing in faster than I could delete them, and I finally started to worry. Earlier in the day I took a phone call from a kid who had also called during the video's making. He was literally half my age, and he was in an intense state of panic. "Do you ever think this is going to stop?" he asked me desperately. He sounded like his entire existence was spiraling out of control. But he raised an excellent point: Was this ever going to stop? Would I have to change my number just because I called this guy one time?
When I crashed for the night, I had received over 70 phone calls from Shoenice devotees. I checked the text message video, and it had been viewed a little more than 12,000 times. Small potatoes compared to the three million views for his Absolut vodka slam video. It felt like my nightmare was just beginning.
On Sunday morning, I woke to only five missed phone calls. I checked YouTube and Facebook, and the video—along with any traces of it being made—were gone. No explanation. I'm sure an authority figure of some sort contacted Shoenice about the phone numbers.
So there it was. As quickly as I became a target I was completely forgotten. I wish there was some sort of lesson or resolution I could pull from this truly bizarre experience, but it's a little harder than I had expected. I suppose if I'm ever given the opportunity to talk to Shoenice on the phone again, I won't take it. Yeah, it's something like that.