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).