Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Giuliani and the butt-dial

Just when I was beginning to wonder if Rudy Giulianiwho has perfected the crazy eye of latewas even human what with his wackadoodle comments, wild gesticulating and testy “You and whose army?” vibe, he up and commits that most human of errors: He buttdials.

In a way, it’s the only endearing thing Rudy has done in a very long time. We’ve all given and receiveth the butt dial, so we know how he feels.

?The term “butt dial” appears to have originated back in 2008, when someone—we will never know who and it’s a damn shame—came up with a direct, if mildly profane description of what happens when your cell phone FORSAKES you and randomly calls someone without you knowing.

Often, but not always, this is the result of sitting on your phone, hence “butt dial.”

?Most of the time, as in Giuliani’s case, your naughty phone tends to call the absolute LAST PERSON ON EARTH you’d want it to. Like, say, an NBC reporter who was treated recently to three minutes of buttdialing in which Giuliani can be heard droning on to a mysterious person in the background about fraud, someone named Charles, the kingdom of Bahrain and the need for “a few hundred thousand dollars.”

?As is the case with most buttdialers, this was a repeat offense: Giuliani previously committed butt-dialery with the same reporter a month earlier. Serial butt-dialing is a thing. I have a sisterinlaw who, bless her heart, has buttdialed me more than 20 times over the years.

?Sadly, when she does this, I’m never treated to interesting tea being spilled a la the fevered rants of Giuliani, but rather drive-time NPR punctuated by what sounds like a rabid raccoon rummaging in her purse. So scrunchy. So loud.

Sometimes, you think it’s a buttdial but what if it’s not? How do you check to make sure? I often try screaming my sister-in-law’s name in hopes she will hear me, realize her error and either hang up discreetly or pick up and say “Sorry ‘bout that.” No big deal but I just think she should know that I’m pretty sure there’s an unvaccinated wildebeest trapped in her purse and she might want to do something about that at the next exit if not sooner.

Rudy Giuliani, who has dropped behind Mayor McCheese in the hizzoner rankings lately on account of consorting with undesirables (yes, worse than Hamburglar), isn’t what you’d call tech-savvy so he’s a serial butt-dialer. He’s going to keep doing it and the reporters are going to keep listening.

If you ask me, Rudy’s phone is a Democrat. Why else would it butt-dial national news reporters instead of one of Rudy’s many mob-connected cronies or a cousin-wife?

I’m guessing Trump, as Rudy’s most famousclient will go all High School Musical chorus teacher on him and demand that Rudy place his cell phone in a cute wicker basket before he enters the Oval Office.

Can’t take any chances.

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times -bestselling author and columnist. Visit

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