A friend of mine was telling me a story about one of their colleagues and they said the following sentence: "Mike called himself cleaning up the lunch table, but he left spaghetti sauce streaked all over the place." I didn't understand at the time though that this is just a way of referring to a third party doing some act that resulted in the opposite of their original intentions.
The question I have is regarding the use of "called himself" and where that comes from, the etymology, etc. etc. and if there is a place I can look to learn about this type of... strange... sentence pattern?