I’m going to kick a horse while it’s down. Last night at 9:23 pm I sent a friend who was at the Yankees/Red Sox game a text—I couldn’t make the game as expected but wow, what a nail bitter.  Just now, at 12:28 pm—the day after—I get his reply: “That is too bad. It is a great game. Fans r very rowdy.”

15 hours: 5 minutes later.

He was sitting in the bleachers, under the giant AT&T advertisement, texting me from his iPhone.

I would have liked to have gotten his message last night. Maybe we would have traded a few more texts. But imagine if the situation carried more consequence than two guys talking about a ballgame?

This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me, and it’s happened with text and calls…any time I’m in a large crowd. It happened last year at Yankee Stadium—right there under the giant ad (the customer service rep I spoke with didn’t acknowledge the irony). And it happened on the Great Lawn in Central Park during a Philharmonic concert. Here’s a tip: if you have AT&T, don’t expect to communicate with your friends to find out where they’re sitting—and by the way, their balloon probably flew away, so let’s hope you’ve been craving some alone time.

Great experiences are built one brand interaction at a time. And while one, small, bad one isn’t usually enough to destroy a brand relationship, the steady drip diet of mediocre interactions eventually causes someone to pray that Verizon starts carrying the iPhone. Message received?