The Dofus Case
by Lawrence Akerman
For all of you who occasionally have a really bad day, and you just
need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you
know, take it out on someone you don't know.
I was sitting at my desk, when I remembered a phone call I had
forgotten to make. I found the number, and dialed it. A man answered
I politely said, "This is Fred Hanifin, could I
please speak with Robin Carter?" Suddenly, the phone was slammed down
on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude. I tracked
down Robin's correct number, and called her. (I had transposed the
last two digits of her phone number).
After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number
When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, "You're a
dofus!" and hung up.
I wrote his number down, with the word
'dofus' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of
weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him
up and yell, "You're a dofus!" It always cheered me up.
When Caller ID came to our area, I thought my therapeutic 'dofus'
calling would have to stop.
So, I called his number and said, "Hi,
this is John Smith from the Telephone Company. I'm just calling to see
if you're familiar with the caller ID program?" he yelled,
slammed the phone down. I quickly called him back and said,
because you're a dofus!"
So, one day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking
spot. Some boy in a black BMW cut me off, and pulled into the spot I
had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I had been
waiting for the spot. The idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale"
sign in his car window, so I wrote down his number.
A couple of days later, right after calling the first dofus (I had
his number on speed dial), I thought I had better call the BMW
I dialed and someone said, "Hello?" I said, "Is this
the man with the black BMW for sale?"
Yes it is."
Can you tell me
where I can see it?"
"Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th Street. It's a
yellow house and the car's parked right out front."
"What's your name?" I asked.
"My name is Don Hansen," he said.
"When's a good time to catch you, Don?"
"I'm home every evening after five."
"Listen, Don, can I tell you something?"
"Don, you're a dofus!" Then I hung up, and added his number to my
speed dial, too. Now, when I had a problem, I had two dofuses to
But after a couple of months of calling them, it wasn't as enjoyable
as it used to be.
So, I came up with an idea: I called Dofus #1.
"You're a dofus!" (But I didn't hang up.)
"Are you still there?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"Stop calling me," he screamed.
"Make me," I said.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"My name is Don Hansen."
"Yeah? Where do you live?"
"Dofus, I live at 1802 West 34th Street, a yellow house with my
black Beemer out front."
He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start
saying your prayers."
I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, dofus."
Then I called dofus # 2.
"Hello?" he said.
"Hello Dofus," I said.
He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..."
"You'll what?" I said.
"I'll kick you," he exclaimed.
I answered, "Well, dofus, here's your chance. I'm coming over right
Then, I hung up, and immediately called the police, saying that I
lived at 1802 West 34th Street, and I was on my way back home to kill
my gay lover.
Then, I called Channel 13 news about the gang war going down on West
34th Street. I quickly got into my car and headed over to 34th St.
There, I saw two dofuses beating each other in front
of 6 squad cars, a police helicopter, and a news crew.
I feel so much better!
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away.
from the June 2002 Edition of the Jewish Magazine