The Student And The Master

I was just sitting here, minding my own business, surfing the net and enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when my phone rang. It was a local number, 404 area code - which meant it was likely a business trying to reach me about an order, or someone who got the wrong number. Either way, worth answering.

"Hello?" I said.

"Uh... Hello..." a young, bright, probably female voice said. It could have been just a really young boy, but who knows. "May I speak to Pat Mihiney?"

...Sigh. Kids these days. No one excels anymore... Reaching for the low hanging fruit. It's so disappointing. Still, it'd been a long, long time since I was pranked, and I relished the opportunity to play back.

"Yeah, hold on one second," I replied to the immediate sound of stammering. I held the phone away from my ear and mouth and yelled "PAT!" a few times. After about 45 seconds, I went back to the phone and said "He's not answering... What's this in regard to?"

"Uh... Um..."

"Oh MAN," I said, "Is this about that order? Man... Thank God I was the one who answered - listen, please make sure that the strippergram is wearing a ball-gag when he arrives. I know it'll be hard to hear the song, but it'd really make Pat's day. He's been really blue lately, if you know what I mean..."

"Uh... Wait, what?"

"And if that donkey I asked for isn't a pureblood donkey, I'm not tipping. You understand me? You guys sent me a burro last time - I won't want a damn burro. If I wanted a burro, I'd order a burro. I want a donkey - got it?"

They hung up.

My wife looked at me, knowing what just happened. "Prank?"

"Yeah," I said, immediately calling the number back. "Didn't even block caller ID." It rang twice, then went to voicemail. Someone named Mary, and very obviously much older. I left the following message:

"Hi Mary, I'm assuming your kids or younger cousins got ahold of your phone. Let them know that if they want to prank a person properly, the very first thing they need to do from now on is block Caller ID. It's star-seven-one. Have a good day."

Immediately, the phone rang back. I let it go to voicemail. It rang back a few times after that, and I asked Andrea if she'd like to speak to them. She opted out, and we agreed - it was best to just let it roll over to voicemail. My assumption was dead on: they were busted, and calling to apologize. The very last call resulted in the following voicemail:

*in the background* "Go on..."
"Mister, we're really sorry, and we won't bother you again... Uh... We were just goofing... Uh... Okay thank you..."
*in the background* "Say you're sorry..."
*foreground, but away from the phone* "I just did!"
*in the background* "Say it again!"
"Uh... We're sorry. Again."  *CLICK*

Oh, the things I have to teach this generation...