City Desk

D.C. Woman Unwittingly Hosts Chewbacca-Noise Contest

chewbaca

Most of the time, April Fools' Day pranks aren't worth the effort, as plenty of local organizations demonstrated last week. Not this one, which started with one guy's pretty funny idea and resulted in his girlfriend hearing a whole lot of "Awwrrruuurrraawwwwr!"

Since April 1, Samantha Helton, 23, has received about 20 voicemails on her cell phone from strangers doing their best impressions of Chewbacca, Han Solo's furry co-pilot from Star Wars. Helton's boyfriend Ben, who wouldn't give City Desk his last name, had posted fliers around Navy Yard and Capitol Hill advertising a "Chewbacca Roar Contest" and instructing interested parties to leave a message at the number listed on the sign—which just so happened to be Helton's number. And it turns out there are a lot of D.C. residents eager to show off their Chewbacca roars.

Ben says he posted about 25 signs on March 31. He even placed one right outside Helton's apartment building, but she didn't notice it when she left her building that morning.

"I really wanted to do it in Northwest, but I think she would have probably had to change her number," Ben says. "I didn't know if she'd get really mad at me, so I just did the bare minimum."

Helton says she only learned of the prank later in the day when Ben posted the sign on his Facebook page and noticed that the number on it looked familiar.

Helton was out of town this weekend, but the two of them plan to go through the voicemails this week and pick a winner of the contest. (The poster says there is a $50 reward, which Ben says he plans to honor.) Helton says the most memorable voicemail came from a woman in California. A friend in D.C. had told her about the contest, and she left a voicemail saying how funny she thought the whole thing was, and gave what Helton described as a good Chewbacca impression.

Ben says this is his best prank to date, but he's got a "bunch more up his sleeve." "Awwrrruuurrraawwwwr!" to that.

Photo by Silvio Tanaka via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • ghostyghost

    I'm ashamed to say that it took me a while to realize that it was a prank when I first saw one of Ben's flyers on NJ Ave. Good job and a golf clap to him.

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