Taking the dare: Reliving my middle school days through prank calls

March 19, 2017 — by Ashley Su

    I stared at my phone in dread.

Though I had initially jumped at the chance to relive the sleepovers of my middle school days, my excitement for this dare was soon replaced by anxiety as the set date for the prank call neared.

    At middle school sleepovers, prank callers are usually encouraged by the rest of their friends. Attempting to make these prank calls alone, however, made me feel slightly idiotic as I imagined laughing stupidly to myself while the victim on the line listened and waited, unimpressed by my prank calling abilities.

On the day of my dare, I anxiously pulled an unlucky friend with me to make my calls. Our first two calls were unsuccessful: Pizza Hut immediately hung up on me when I pretended to be an employee named “Barbara” calling in sick. Walmart didn’t even pick up the phone when I called two different locations.

The next two numbers we dialed made me feel slightly guilty for wasting the employees’ time and subjecting them to my immature antics. When we rang Panda Express for fries and chicken nuggets, the confused lady on the line replied, “What? This is Panda Express.”

After dedicated attempts to explain to me that Panda Express only sold Chinese food, she gave up, hanging up when we then aggressively pressed for pizza slices.

Then, at Burger King, the confused guy replied to our order of 2 McFlurries with a string of unintelligible muttering, a quiet “OK” and then an end to the call.

At this point, I was beginning to lose interest in making prank calls that were yielding no interesting results. But, finally, when we called Jake’s of Saratoga, the employee played along with our prank. After we asked for Domino’s number, he replied 1-800-JAKES without pause, even wishing us well on our Domino’s pizza order.

Finally, we ended our prank-calling spree with Safeway, which happened to be the most fun one by far. After asking to reserve a shopping cart, we were met with a few seconds of silence, to which the employee finally asked, “For what?”

“Shopping!” we exclaimed, followed by concealed snorts at the sheer ridiculousness of the reservation request.

Following another few seconds of silence, probably in an attempt to comprehend such a strange call, the employee finally replied, “But we have many shopping carts.”

After thanking her, we hung up and burst into laughter.

Looking back on these prank calls, I realize they don’t seem as funny as the real experience. However, I can assure you that they were much more entertaining than they probably seem right now in print.

What did I learn? Prank calls are probably not an effective use of time, nor do they demonstrate one’s maturity. But they are great for a laugh among friends.

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