With the ubiquitous use of the Internet, April Fool’s pranks and jokes have found a new life. Why bother to set up a prank that might catch a dozen people locally when you can post a fake news story on a web site and get thousands to fall for it?
So today, I waded through about dozen fake stories on the web. Actually, I found one that I was really, really hoping to be true. The tauntaun sleeping bag is intended to be a joke but I believe the majority of the people who look at would actually buy one if they could.
Anyways, with the stories behind me, I thought another April Fool’s was over. Then just after the lunch, there arrived in my inbox a team-wide e-mail. It was short, simple, and to the point:
“Timbits in the kitchen.”
The message had come from Shaun HH, one of the concept artists on our team. The e-mail itself was not out of the ordinary. People on our team regularly buy sugary treats to share with the rest of us. I myself have bought dozens upon dozens of Timbits for others, especially during crunch time when it can help keep morale up during a late night.
Now usually, I tend to nearly run to any free offerings of doughnut-related snacks. Just last week, one of our designers, CK bought a box of doughnuts to share and I made sure I got there before the last one was taken. This time, however, I didn’t get up to a get Timbit right away. I was very busy getting some stuff done for another designer, so I didn’t want to pull myself away from my code.
As I lost myself in my work, I nearly forgot about the Shaun’s treats. Well over an hour after his e-mail got sent out, came another team-wide response to his, from Scott, an engineer:
“Ah, you got me! They were covered in salt!”
I made my way over to where the ‘bits were. There was a single one left on a paper plate. Upon closer examination, it looked just like a regular Timbit that had been heavily rolled in plain sugar. I’ve had many of those before and to me, this one didn’t look any different. One could not tell by looking that the crystalline material on it was not sugar and in fact, salt.
It was a clever trick that Shaun had pulled on the team. If I were to have just one suggestion, is that he should have kept the Timbits in its usual, more familiar packaging, which is the standard Tim Hortons Timbit box and not the paper plate. That way, the right packaging would not raise anyone’s suspicions.
I later found out that Scott was not the only one who fell for it. Others had eaten the salty balls but kept quiet in order to let more people fall Shaun’s sodium-based trap. How dastardly!
Watch out next year!