So I’m sitting around last night composing a handout on passive voice for my freshman English class, as first-time teachers do when they don’t have files and files of these things to fall back on. The phone rings. It’s my SO calling all the way from England. Pleased to be distracted, I settle down for a nice long chat. We get to talking about accents, as we usually do sooner or later, and A. does his best impression of an American. He sounds more like an elderly Irishman who has misplaced his false teeth. He claims he phoned his co-workers – who are all British – pretending to be a temperance missionary from Alabama and they bought it; I tell him that no American would be fooled for a minute.
We continue to swap stories about prank calls until his phone card runs out. Damn, damn, DAMN. I hope against hope that he’ll be able to scrape together enough change to call back, if only to say good night. Sure enough, the phone rings again…
“Is this Mrs. Porpentine?” says a male voice in a strange not-quite-British and not-quite-American accent. (Being married off without my knowledge or consent is one of my pet peeves, and A. knows this.)
“Yes – but you’re not doing it very well, love.”
“I said you’re still not doing it well, sweetheart. You’re not even close.”
“This is Mrs. Porpentine, isn’t it?”
It slowly penetrates my thick head that this is not A. Is it a telemarketer? No. It’s one of my students, who comes from Africa and has a strange, vaguely British-sounding accent. I shall draw a merciful veil over the rest of the conversation.
All right, Dopers, make me feel better. What’s the worst way you’ve ever humiliated yourself over the telephone?