Who is Mr. Hopson (sen?)

Recently, a certain Mr. Hopsen (unsure of the spelling) has been calling the house and asking to speak with either us or our almost- three-year-old Dudeling. He doesn’t say much, and basically refuses our efforts to identify himself. He does like to talk about puppies, kitties, upcoming visits by the grandparents, what we had for breakfast and other mundane subjects. He has also refused to call us back on the primary household line—where we have caller ID—and instead only calls in on the Dudeling’s toy plastic phone.

Basically, the Dudeling will hear his phone ring (well, it used to only be him), run to it, answer with a “Hello. Yes. Uh-huh. Okay. Just a minute please…” and then turn to us with a “it’s for you.” There is little variation in how the conversation starts. It’s not until we’ve spoken with Mr. Hobzone for a spell and let the Dudeling know that he wants to speak to him again that the topics start to shift.

We suspect the calls are originating from within the television. However, we’re not sure where. Only (almost) three, he has extremely limited access to it. He gets a bit here and there, an hour or so every few weeks. None of the (semi)responsible adults that are with him when he does watch have any idea who he is (Mr. Hobsen, not the Dudeling). Suspect shows include Thomas the Raging Asshole of a Train, Curious George and the Criminally Absent Minded Man in the Yellow Hat, and Sesame Goddammit Someone Tell that Annoying Infantile Elmo Monstrosity to go Play in the Street.

The only key to his identity is that his name is pronounced with a clear English accent. This is strange, because no one in the Dudeling’s circle speaks with an English accent, and he pronounces no other words with such a regional intonation. Further, the Dudeling has not yet completed the transformation from an inanimate carbon blob to a fully functional human. For example, he has yet to make up a name that is not wholly descriptive (i.e. “what’s this toy’s name” “his name is [description of said toy]”). Therefore, we are fairly certain that he has heard the name somewhere else; he didn’t invent it on his own. Lastly, we have consulted our household Ouija board, and its guiding spirits insist that they’re innocent (the builder insisted that he respectfully moved the Indian graveyard before construction, so there’s no need to consider that).

This might be a stretch…but we are talking about the mind of a three-year-old…

The head of the railway in the Thomas the Tank Engine stories is Sir Topham Hatt. Might it be possible that ‘Topham’ is getting changed to ‘Hopson’?

The only other thing that came immediately to mind was Mr Hooper from Sesame Street, but he died 30 years ago (suddenly, I feel really, really old), and he was definitely not English.

By george, I think Suburban_Plankton’s got it!!


I mean, his accent is all over the place, but…that’d be my guess, especially since the indian graveyard possibility was all cleared up. (Great OP, by the way, very entertaining!)

I wish it were that simple. Despite the greatness of Taomist’s link (which I’m tempted to share with the Dudeling), it’s definitely not Mr. Toppem Hat. His pronunciation of that is very clear and very different from Mr. Haughps’n.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a supernatural flick in years. I think I saw the Ring a while back, but it’s been way more than seven days–but wasn’t there a sequel? Other than that, I’ve nowhere else to look for an answer.

Every so often my business phone gets a call from an Indian call center and the operator asks for “Mr. Hopson.” When I say they there is no Mr. Hopson here, they just hang up.
The operator has the clipped Indian/British accent.
Utter long shot but could the kid have picked up the phone once and gotten a call like this and just built this whole story about Mr. Hopson?

My bold.

OK, I’m probably dense, but I’m not getting it. Are you saying that the phone actually rings, and that someone actually talks to you down the phone? Because the rest of the OP is suggesting it’s all in Dudeling’s head

I’m sorry, I was being flip. The Dudeling has a condition known as ‘transchizomania’, in which voices that start out in his head extend to others in his vicinity. You normally see such behaviour with parents “calling” Santa Clause when their child is acting contrary to their normative desires.

He’s not allowed to touch the phone (we have a home office, so he doesn’t get much time with any electronic device–avoids the client calls being picked up by a three year old).

It’s definitely a fictional character. Not to overly discount the mislaid phone call that worked its way into his imagination, but that’s terribly unlikely. We’re both home all the time, and the nanny watches him during the day. Anything is possible, but the idea that he got to a phone, talked for a spell, and no one called us back to get through is pretty slim. Most of our clients are international, but any that would call would call back or email.

Well, Hobson’s a pretty common name. Perhaps some commercial or somewhat; that’s really all I can think of.

You should link this over in the Parents - how much did having children change your life? thread.

Having kids means you call General Mills and ask to speak to Lucky because he only sent a tree to one of your kids. Or finding bunny in the refrigerator because he gets hot. Or stepping barefoot on a Lego at night. Or dinosaurs in the yard. Or flying squirrels. Or your kids first sentence being “I Egon”. People without kids will never get it.