Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I’m a Liar

Before I get into the bulk of today's post, I wanted to mention that K and I were thinking about doing some sea kayaking along the Georgia coast between the 19th and 27th of this month. I e-mailed Mickey about it this morning because we had talked about the possibility recently (apparently he didn't check his e-mail before reading my blog yesterday because it would have been a major tip off) and he was supposed to forward the info on to Courtney (whose e-mail address wasn't as easy to memorize). If any of the rest of you are interested, let me know. K and I have done this a couple of times in Alaska and were thinking about just renting the kayaks (saves about $60 per person to not have a guide) and sticking to the intracoastal waterway and rivers since the backsides of the islands are more interesting anyway. I'd really like to do an overnight trip, which would cost a total of $60 (two day kayak rental and free camping on public land) but I'm cool with a day trip too. That'd be $35 per kayak or about $90 per person for a guided tour. If you're scared of the word kayak, don't be. Touring kayaks aren't the topsy turvy things they use on whitewater. They're longer, much more stable and a breeze to operate. Believe me, if my uncoordinated butt enjoys paddling around in these things most of you should be pros within 30 minutes.

I'm not sure if anyone noticed that the first letter of each paragraph in yesterday's paragraph spelled APRILFOOL, which obviously should be broken up into two words, although I'm not sure exactly where. That's right, yesterday's post was an April 1 prank.

However, all of you already know that. Mickey blabbed it in the comments, but he couldn't stop there. I would have been fine if he'd just left it there. After all, several of you (other than Chris, if he is to be believed*) admitted that you would have probably fallen for it had it not been for Mickey's warning. If he'd just left the fourth through seventh comments, I could have at least had a few more people sheepishly admitting that I had them fooled until Mickey let it out. But, no, Mickey had to go and post an expose on his own blog even though most of his readers don't read my blog. Unfortunately, almost all of my regulars do read his, so I end up with a busted joke with only one sucker show for it. Thanks Mickey. I'll dance at your funeral one day.

But I do have to say that his thirty-minute stream of posts ranging from sympathy to mock-rage made up for almost all of the dorky tattling that ruined it for everyone else.

As for the joke, I'll admit that it was a fairly subtle one. I fooled Mickey, the person I guessed would be most likely to ruin the whole thing for me (because he usually is that guy when I'm not), and I thought I had him for a good 30 minutes. I keep Gmail open at work and it notifies me whenever someone comments here, and he posted three comments before finally realizing almost 30 minutes later that it was a joke. I'd still like to know what half-hour thought process led to that, actually.

Really, the only clue that I was talking out of my butt, besides the embedded April Fool message, was the fact that I would never do something so rash. I think I did a good job pulling in themes from other posts to make this seem a lot more likely than it really was. I'm also glad that I ramble a bit normally and take my writing down strange paths on a regular basis because I was able to work in the extra paragraphs to spell LFOOL without making it too obvious. For once I started short and had to make it longer to work instead of the other way around. It started out as just the first couple of paragraphs and I made it longer just to work in the clue.

So, no, that wasn't my last post. I'm still teaching until I can move into counseling or can think of another line of work that I could move into without causing too many problems for K. Mickey can still keep plugging away at Comment365 uninterrupted.

Finally, my responses to the comments were getting a little long, so I decided to just work them into this post. You can probably figure out what I said to Mickey by now, so I'll just skip that entirely. Here's the rest:

Chris: I had Mickey pegged for being the person to ruin this for the rest by figuring it out and spilling it on the comments. Turns out I was only right on a technicality. Mickey read it and didn't catch the joke until 30 minutes later, but he just spoiled it first because he read it first. You figured it out before finishing the first paragraph, which means you're the less gullible of the two, supposedly. I am curious what tipped you off that quickly, though. I thought basically if someone bought the premise that I'd quit that they'd not have a clue until at least the line "Ovo-Lacto vegetarians be damned." That seemed my most forced attempt to work in the acronym tip. Basically, I kind of assumed they'd know from the first sentence or wouldn't know at all. Also, was that article you read on Slate? If so, I read the same one. It was my inspiration.

Courtney: You should hate Mickey for what he did. Wouldn't this have been much more exciting and dramatic if I could have waited to pull the wool off of your eyes until tomorrow? It sure would have been funnier for me. Actually I should have changed the duck and goose reference to sheep so I could have worked in a reference to wool as another clue. Hindsight blah blah blah blah.

Meaghan: You should hate Mickey for the same reasons, and there is some truth to it, but only in places. I dislike my job. I find it frustrating and unrewarding (potentially at least partly because of me) on a regular basis, but an urgent need to get out immediately hasn't been a part of my life since I left the alternative school. It's more of like Mickey's whining without real urgency about his job. (Sorry Mickey, but I'm going to ridicule you about this until you actually do start a new job because you set yourself up for it and I believe that you're man enough to take your ridiculing without tears). Honestly, I've played that up a bit in the past for entertainment value and because I tend to write about the moment in the moment. I've also found out that my self-deprecating and Debbie Downer jokes don't always come across as funny in writing even to the people who laugh when I say the same sort of thing in real life. They still make me laugh, and that's really what counts.

Other true tidbits:
1. I have thought about starting an organic, pastured poultry farm focusing on ducks and geese for meat.
2. I do have an annoying student who does that.
3. I do have a friend who runs the liquor store his parents own.

Other falsities:
1. That annoying student actually sits in the fourth row.
2. That annoying student was actually present.
3. And annoying.
4. I actually haven't had that bad of a day yesterday. Monday, I was running very late from oversleeping and E being sick, but the day wasn't too bad. We were actually in the computer lab researching and the classes actually did their work without too much prodding.
5. I'm not frustrated with blogging or the comments. There has been the rare comment that bugged me a bit, but I think most of it was my mood that day and by rare, I mean really rare. I needed a paragraph for the L and if you haven't noticed, I've got a bit of a theme going of mock outrage at the lack of respect for my posts. I think some of you have been taking me seriously at times, but I never wanted to break character and ruin the gag by explaining. I see it as a way to keep me from taking myself too seriously. By occasionally playing the sensitive artist it keeps me from thinking I actually am one.

I had fun with that one. K was worried that it was too depressing, but she still got a kick out of reading Mickey's posts.

* Chris I had actually written this phrase about you several hours before I got around to reading your blog where you used the exact same phrase about me. Weird.


Chris said...

Yeah, no need for disappointment, Jacob. This whole thing was totally worth it just to see Mickey's progression of comments.

I'm not sure that I'm any less gullible. It just so happened I had just read an article (on MSN, I think) about the 10 best April Fools hoaxes, and so it was on my mind. There was nothing in the writing of the first paragraph or three that tipped me off, other than the fact I wouldn't expect you to make such a rash move, as you say.

Plus, if Mickey hadn't figured it out first, I'm not sure if I would have had balls enough to call your bluff in the comments. I might have just suspiciously checked back for the confession over the course of the day.

Meaghan said...

Geez, this is one hell of an explanation! To be honest, I probably would have suspected it was an April Fools joke, but I don't put anything past anyone anymore. You think this would be a rash move? Well, people do it all the time. I'd like to think you are smarter than that, but even the smart ones do some crazy stuff sometimes.

But I completely second Chris! You may not have pulled the wool over all our eyes, but seeing it over Mickey's was worth it all!

Mickey said...

I may have spoiled it for you, Jacob, which was entirely my mission once I realized I had been duped, but in consolation, know that for that 30 minutes I was genuinely concerned for your state of mind. So thanks for having a good laugh at the expense of my compassionate soul.

I was also a little excited about your idea of moving to Asheville and going to grad school. That would be sweet.

Since you were wondering, it wasn't until I read the first mention of April Fools Day, on the Daily Tannenbaum, that it dawned on me all at once that I had been had. If your blog were somewhere other than the top of my list (Courtney doesn't count because she posts later), I may have known what day it was before getting to you.

But I still spoiled it for everyone else, so HA!

Mickey said...

Oh, and I almost forgot since this post was so damn long and the shit about kayaking was buried at the top:

Courtney and I are very much into the idea of some paddling, overnight or otherwise. We are definitely going to try to make it happen, if that helps sway anyone else.

Courtney said...

Buried at the top, Mick? That doesn't make any sense.

Sorry your joke was ruined and blah blah, but the best pranks are the believable ones. The fact that we all fell for it or would have fallen for it should give you some clue as to how much you complain about your job. So ha.

And yes, kayacking sounds mucho fun.

Mickey said...

Yes, Courtney, buried at the top. I stand by that.

Julie said...

For the record, I read your post on April Fools Day and was ready to call the bluff right here.

Unfortunately, the comment link was missing. That's right. Missing. And I was 21 days behind on your blog and caught up on them all that day so you have missed out on 21 glorious comments from me.

I assumed that you had removed the link to post a comment in the hopes of keeping people from spoiling your joke. I guess that's not the case but just the same, I assume it was your wrong-doing since even Matt couldn't figure out how to make a comment. And, for the record, I will continue to blame you for it. I hope you're happy.