Hello? Bulldog Pizza, How May I Help You? In Which Ella Makes a Big Mistake and Gets Taken Off the Calling List for The Human Rights Campaign

My dad has this joke where he’ll pick up the phone and say “Bulldog Pizza” (or some other made-up or real business’ name) in a gruff voice instead of hello when a friend or family member is calling. Usually, they’ll stammer an apology about calling the wrong number and hang up, only to try again and have my dad repeat the stunt until they figure out it’s him. It’s the sort of joke that really just works once, but it’s still a great one to pull.

(Of course, by explaining it here, I’ve drastically reduced the number of unsuspecting people I can do this to, but I’ve also exponentially increased the number of people who can now play this joke on each other, so I feel it balances out.)

I was bored this afternoon when I got a call that I thought was from a friend, so I answered the phone, saying “Bulldog Pizza. How may I help you?” and whoever was on the other line immediately hung up.

About thirty seconds later, I get another call and repeat the stunt. This happens about four more times, until finally they say in a voice that does not sound like Clara’s, “Hi, I’m _____ from The Human Rights Campaign, and I have this number listed as a residence. I want to apologize for having called you repeatedly; I thought that I was misdialing my phone. We’ll take you off our list and won’t bother you again. Have a nice day!” And they hung up before I could even try to explain what had happened.

As it turns out, the Caller ID on the phone in the study is inaccurate, and I actually don’t have Clara’s number properly memorized. Thankfully, we’re the sort of people who will still donate to the Human Rights Campaign even without them calling us to ask for donations, so being off their calling list doesn’t matter very much, but I still feel like a complete idiot.

I feel like an idiot. Not only did I act inappropriately and meanly towards someone phone-banking for a great cause, (and this is extremely petty) I messed up a streak of really good pranks. Pippa can tell you all about what I did to her in the kitchen with ice cubes, and I got my dad to walk around for hours with a sign that said “oblivious moron” on his back. I think I’m going to cool it with my lame practical jokes for a while.

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