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That's a Funny Question to Ask the Queen

Updated on November 24, 2011

I've always thought it funny when people say ‘who is this?’ when they're on the phone. Don’t they know who they are?

If I hear the phone ringing, the first thing I do before answering it, is find out who I am. It just seems good manners, when answering the phone, to do a little basic research upon oneself. We shouldn’t expect the person who’s phoning us to know everything. On the other hand, I suppose it’s quite reasonable to expect a little cooperation, where necessary, from the person who’s phoning us. (‘We’re all in this together’ - you know.)

However, if I’m stuck I ask the person next to me, “Who is this?” And, just to be helpful, I point to myself. Of course, I expect an honest answer, because we never know who’s phoning us until we’ve answered the phone - it could be someone important like Her Majesty the Queen - or, maybe even Anne Widdecombe - perchance. What will the Queen think of me, if I don’t know who I am? She mightn't send me a card for my hundredth birthday:

Me: “Hello.”

HMTQ: “Hello. One would like to buy some Tupperware, please.”

Me: “Who is this?”

HMTQ: (After a pregnant silence), “Pheelleeip, there’s someone on the teeleephone who doesn’t know whom one is.

Pheelleep: “Damn it woman one can’t buy Tupperware from someone who doesn’t know whom one is. If one doesn’t know whom one is, one could be anyone. We can’t send out one-hundredth birthday cards to just any old Tom, Dick or Harry.”

HMTQ: “Certainly not to Harry! One doesn’t think that one’s one of one’s own.”

So I’m very particular about finding out who I am before I answer the phone. The trouble is - if I ask the person next to me, who I am, it stands to reason that if I don’t know who I am, and have to keep saying, 'who is this', and I’ve known myself all my life, the chances are that the person next to me might not know who I am either. In fact, he or she might never have seen me, in his or her life ever before. Furthermore, if I don’t know who I am, one might logically assume that there’s a good chance that I don’t even know where I am - or what I’m doing. That would call into question whether or not I ought to have been left in charge of a phone in the first place.

Anyway, regardless of whether or not he or she did know me, he or she might tell me a lie. Then, if someone important phoned me and I thought I knew who I was, but I’d been misinformed by the person next to me, who could just as easily have said, “I don’t know who you are”, and saved me a lot of trouble - Her Majesty the Queen might think that I’m an impostor Tupperware salesperson. I bet Preeince Pheeilleep wouldn’t like that very much; he’d never be able to eat his cucumber sandwiches out of a Tupperware box ever again.

However, I think I have the problem solved, because I notice that someone has put my name on my phone so that when someone phones me, I know exactly who I am, and now I say, "Hello, this is Panasonic speaking. Is that Her Majesty the Queen? Would you like to buy some Tupperware - Ma’am?"

Unfortunately, there are a couple of snags with that, because it seems my name isn’t always Panasonic. When I’m using other people’s phones, for example, I find that I have all sorts of different names - many of which look Chinese and one in particular that might suggest that I’m an American outlaw. What might the Queen think of that? I wonder. Anne Widdecombe, simply wouldn’t countenance that.

Another thing is that my Mum says she knows who I am - and she doesn't remember giving me a name like Panasonic.

Mums can be funny that way. I suppose that's where I got my bad memory. No wonder I have to keep saying, 'who is this', when I answer the telephone. It’s been my Mum’s fault all along. However, just to prove that Oscar Wilde was wrong: I forgive her.



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    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Scotland, UK

      I think I need help Shinkicker - anything to do with Anne Widdecombe is indeed unhealthy.

      That’s a good point you make about the Queen’s Tupperware BTW; I can just imagine her at one of these Tupperware parties buying a whole load of queer shaped PVC junk that sits in her larder as redundant as...

    • Shinkicker profile image


      6 years ago from Scotland

      You have an unhealthy obsession with Anne Widdecombe. Each to their own :-)

      Really enjoyed your imagination. I love those surreal touches. I'm sure the Queen must get her tupperware from somebody.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Yes, I quite like the Queen too Mary Ann, she so inoffensive. I suppose that's because she can afford to be above it all - so to speak. And Prince Phillip seems to see the funny side of his situation - I don't think he takes himself too seriously, which might explain psychology behind the gaffs.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • profile image

      THAT Mary Ann 

      7 years ago

      Love the humor...I am also a fan of the Queen AND if Pronce Phillip (and I don't care how many politically incorrect things he says in his old age.) Thanks for the chuckles! rated UP

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hiya Prasetio, my friend. Thank you for visiting and voting up. It's nice to see you again.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was so funny. Thanks for writing this and share with us. Well done, my friend. Rate Up!


    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hiya howcurecancer, thank you for voting this up and funny.

    • howcurecancer profile image


      7 years ago

      Voted up. Funny!

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Yes, you're probably right toknowinfo, we can't hold our parents responsible for everything that goes wrong in our lives, and not knowing who we are is not necessarily a bad thing. Just as long as we remember who we are if we ever win the lottery.

      Thanks for dropping by and having a laugh with me - and for pushing my buttons.

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Such a cute hub. I love your humor soooo much. However, if you are having an identity crisis, I am not so sure you should be blaming your mother. I feel for your mother, I wouldn't want to be blamed for you not knowing yourself. All I can tell you is you are one funny guy! Thanks for a great laugh! Pushed every single button!!!

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hi Nell, I suppose not knowing who I am might be a good thing. If I'm the kind of person who runs out of restaurants without paying, I might not be very nice to know.

      Anyway, it's nice to meet you and I'm glad we met on Fay's hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, I couldn't stop laughing! brilliant! you came to my attention on another hub, when you said, the cheapest way is to run out the restaurant, so I had to come over to see who you were! now I know that you have no idea who you are, I am just more confused! hee hee brilliant! you got yourself another follower, if I could just figure out who the hell you are....! cheers nell

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hiya Lela - I suppose 'hello' is as good as any question, to ask on the phone. It makes more sense than phoning around asking who we are.

      We humans do such illogical things, I suppose that's where the best humour comes from, and we can be at our funniest when we're trying to be serious - or denying the undeniable.

      Thanks for dropping by and voting me up.

    • CreatePerfection profile image


      7 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

      amillar, this is hilarious. You are so very funny. I, like Fay, get such a laugh for what you write that I also end up in tears.

      One time, before cell phones, when there were only land lines, my brother in law called and I answered by just saying, "Hello", with the inflection of a question in my voice. He said who was calling and asked me where I was. I said, "Where did you call?" Anyway, we both had a laugh from it.

      Thank you so much for the levity. Up/Awesome/Funny

      Blessings to you...

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hiya quildon - I agree, no senility, in fact, that sounds like a good strategy, to ignore it, and launch right into the conversation. You might suggest to her that she must be tone deaf if she can't recognise the voice of a friend. My advice would be to sing her a wee song and ask her to sing along to see if she can keep in tune. If she can't she'll have justified the, "Who dis?" question; if she can, you can tell her to stop asking the road she knows.

      Nice to meet you; I appreciate this useful input from you.

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Glad I now know who you are so I can follow you on hub pages. I have a friend who after being friends with her long before cell phones- and maybe even land lines- were invented always asks Who dis? whenever I call her. To keep my irritation from boiling over, I just ignore her and launch right into my conversation. After a while she tells me who I am. No senility there, I'm sure.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      His tericle - her tericle? Who cares, as long as we get a churickle.

      It’s nice of you to drop by.

    • chefsref profile image

      Lee Raynor 

      7 years ago from Citra Florida

      Amillar, that was hysteri,,,histeri,,,ahh hell, it's funny

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      That's a cracker Tony. It reminds me of Spike Milligan. That was his type of humour.

      BTW, I can remember that far back, which might not be so good, because I've heard that when we can remember things from many years ago and can't remember what we did yesterday it's a sign of senility.

      Anyway, thanks for dropping by again. I like silly jokes.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      I think I'm at bonkers age already Polly; bonker age is another story. I used to use apple juice to flavour my food. It works very well. I used to put in my porridge, with some cinnamon, but now I just have pinhead oatmeal. That seems a tasty recipe Jackie has. I bet she'll get more than two years of extra life on Planet Earth.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Great Hub, much fun, lots of laughs! What could be better? Reminds of a silly story I heard years ago (that's before there were cell phones, if you can remember that far back, ha ha!) of a guy answering the phone, the caller asks "who dis?" or words to that effect, and on being told, says "O sorry, wrong number!" The other guy says "Not to worry, the phone was ringing anyway!"

      I told you it was silly!

      Love and peace


    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Well thank you for not back stabbing me, and Jackie is not talking about fermented apple cider I hope you know, just apples where all is included of the apple and not watered down. Too bad you will miss such a wonderful drink, it probably adds two more years to the when you go bonkers age!

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      That’s a good point Neeleshkulkarni, I don’t think I should be associating with people who don’t know who they are, and who telephone people whom they don’t know, and have to ask. It doesn’t seem very wholesome, and I think that the hubpages’ method of communication is much more satisfactory - as long as we can recognise our own photos or avatars.

      Thanks for visiting and for your help with this most important of matters.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hiya Jackie,

      I'd better not start decrying Polly. That sassy lassie might get wind of it.

      I compromise with my vegetables: The longer we cook them the more palatable they become, so I cook the mirepoix until it melts in the mouth and then I add a lot of raw vegetables to make sure I don't miss out on the vitamins.

      However, they say that the vitamin A is released into the system better by cooking, so vegetables like carrots and tomatoes are better cooked.

      I'd better keep off the cider mind you, when I was a drinker, I had my life's quota.

      Thanks for dropping by again.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Yes I thought of caller ID too drjb, but then I thought that would ruin my hub and deprive me of a good rant. I suppose we've never really gotten used to speaking to a piece of plastic in a rational way - and I understand how it's happened: ‘this’, being right next to my ear - and ‘that’, being somewhere else.

      I so appreciate your sage advice with this matter.

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image


      7 years ago from new delhi

      here mostly they say"who is speaking?"and i say "me"and they say" who are you?" and I begin to tell them about not knowing quite clearly despite years of contemplation on the issue.

      if i ever did call you i do not think we could ever talk since neither would know who is talking to whome.

      am i glad there are hubpages!!!!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      7 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Yes I think of Lily every now and then, "One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy," sure would like to have some reruns of that. As Jojo says too about people calling and saying "who is this?" I always say,"well who did you call?"

      I bought a really old book about the queen at a sale last week, if I get a good scoop I will put it in a hub...well maybe I should let Polly do that, might be a better job. That girl will say anything!

      Oh I put that recipe and you just have to scrub your celery and have it raw, it won't kill you I been eating it washing it forever and I never even get a cold! It is a recipe you will absolutely love I promise, it is like a new type fruit between orange and tangerine so faint and light is the taste and all you have is celery, carrot and fresh cider. Please try it and please let me know if you don't agree...or do.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Caller ID on your phone could solve some of the problem, amillar, but it would also take some of the fun out of answering unknown callers.

      My usual response to someone who calls and says, "Who is this" is "Who's calling, please?"

      Your funny hub reminded me of an old skit by Lily Tomlin in which she is a telephone operator and asks, "Is this the party to whom I'm speaking?" Silly but funny.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      I suppose if we have a solar flare wipe out we'll survive Amanda - I like the idea of a quiet and still house. (I'm starting to sound like my parents.) Mind you, a quiet and still house might be just what we need to reflect on who we are - and fewer people will need to say irritably, ‘who is this’.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hiya ladyjojo,

      That sounds logical - if they have the gumption to know who they're phoning, surely they would have the gumption to know who they are.

      I must remember the next time someone says, 'who is this?' to me on the phone to ask, "If you're clever enough to know who I am, how come you don't know who you are?"

      I’ll point that out to the Queen; it's my duty as a loyal subject. (I’ll maybe get a gong for this.)

      Thanks for your help and for visiting and commenting.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      We gorra arv'e a larf Fay. When you say you laugh until you cry, you remind me of my Mum; she used to do that. It was infectious and it’s one of my best memories of her. She loved to laugh and so do I.

      Mind you, I can't help wondering who that might've been trying to get you on the phone. It can't have been the Queen, because you say, "he hung up". You don't suppose it could've been George Bush thinking he's still your Head of State - do you? He might want to buy some Tupperware to keep his WMD in.

    • amillar profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Hi Mr Happy,

      Who dis? I think I know now where the expression hoodis comes from. Anyway, I wouldn't want the Queen to get the impression that I think I'm superior to her. All I want is equality.

      Maybe the answer is to get Mrs Slocombe out of 'Are You Being Served' to answer in her inimitable way, "To whom am I speaking? ...I should love to provide your Ma'amship with Tupperware - and I am unanimous".

      Thanks for dropping by anyway and giving me your helpful council on this important subject. It's nice to see you again BTW.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      7 years ago from UK

      A friend of mine stopped by for a chat a few days ago, and he mentioned that there are solar flares due in 2012 which some folks think will wipe all electronic digital equipment in an instant. Where will we be without all these gadgets and gismos? My house will be still and quiet for the first time in years! If it happens, Amillar, none of us will need to know who we are when we answer the phone!

    • ladyjojo profile image


      7 years ago

      Good hub!!

      But i usually come across people calling my cell and being rude by asking who is this? Now if you dialed a number you must know whom you had in mind to call.

      So i find it rude that you dial me and then asking who is this? I answer hello good morning when someone call me, then i wait to here a reply on the other end. If i recognize the voice i'd flow if not I will ask who it is. I'm in place to do so because i answered you and not you me.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      Oh Amillar, you are soooo funny to me. I read you hubs and laugh until I cry. You have the most unique and brilliant sense of humor.

      Just as I finished reading, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the caller, but couldn't ask "who is this" because I couldn't stop laughing. I heard the caller say "what the hell", just before he hung up.

      voted up and hilarious.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Pretty funny write Mr. Amillar!

      I think answering the phone by saying: "Who is this?" or as I hear it more often in the hood: "Who dis?" - that on the part of the one answering the phone is a sign of trying to portray some sort of a superiority above those calling. It's like looking down on something and asking yourself: "What/who's this?".

      I do answer the phone sometimes with the: "Who is this?" line. The tone is a questioning one (perhaps a little irritated as well) and the emphasis falls on the word "this". For me, that happens mostly when I do not know the caller. I am not fond of unknown people calling me lol.

      Cheers! Fun blog.


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