To amuse my colleagues (but mostly myself), I created a fake issue of our company newsletter for April Fools' Day. I am the newsletter editor and am actually working on an issue right now so I put copies on everyone's chair like I normally do when I've finished an edition and it's now their job to proof it.

The real newsletter is due out this week so this made it especially believable. I changed the masthead to say "[Insert Company Newsletter Name Here] - Onion Edition" and then dated it April 1, 2008. With some assistance from a couple of folks in the know for fake articles and titles - a la The Onion - I've been putting the thing together in the middle of the night over the last couple of weeks while I was up at 2:00 am feeding The Caterpillar. Hey, you gotta do something with that time, right? Sure I could be using it for meditation, increasing my spiritual knowledge, personal introspection, writing the Great American novel, or solving the Middle East peace crisis but in my world, "funny" trumps all those other unimportant things.

There are many things from the fake newsletter that I cannot share with the Internets because general paranoia (not necessarily mine) prohibits me from revealing too much about work. But I will reprint the article on the front page for you after removing names and places. A little background first: Monica and I have always had a habit of checking our babies' weights by putting them on the office postal meter. Benefits of this include: up to the moment weight checks, not having to rent a baby scale from your local hospital supply, and knowing what the cost would be to FedEx your child to China when you are frustrated with them. (Generally, it's cost prohibitive -- just in case you were wondering.) We each had a couple of random photographs documenting this event - hence the article:

Due to Lack of Interest in Product Sales, MegaCorp Expands; Begins Selling Babies

2007 was a lackluster year for MegaCorp products. The stumbling economy and falling housing prices, as well as a rumored possible recession, has decreased buyers' appetite for non-essentials and nowhere was it seen more than in the MegaCorp Product market. Said one consumer at a recent MegaCorp event, "Why do I need a MegaCorp CD/Eyeglass cleaner when I've got a sleeve? When are they going to give me something I really need?"

Seeing a recent trend in loans to cover fertility expenses, MegaCorp's Executive Director, Willimina Gates, saw a niche to be filled. "Some people pay a king's ransom for black market babies," Gates said, "...and I just started to think, why shouldn't that ransom come to us?"

"Yeah, it's a great thing," said Stephanie Forbes, Senior Administrative Assistant, "We can add lots of income to the budget line, but no one thought about the shipping dilemmas of this venture. Apparently, babies don't like to be boxed up. Right now we're throwing in a few bananas for the trip and packing them in leak resistant boxes, but it's only a matter of time before Postal Regulations get wise to that and cite us for sending biological materials through the mail. Then we'll just have to send the babies via FedEx, I guess."

MegaCorp begins selling its babies product line beginning April 1st of the current fiscal year. Currently, only babies of the girl variety are available. For more information, please contact the MegaCorp central office.

Like I said, I put a copy for each employee on his or her chair yesterday morning and let them figure it out themselves. The first person who came in and read it, laughed riotously. Then all was quiet. A few minutes later, one colleague appeared at my door with the fake newsletter in her hand. Her mouth hung agape in abject horror and she was as white as a sheet.

"Alice, did you do this?" she said, pointing to the fake newsletter and the baby sale headline.

"Yeah, that was me," I laughed.

She began shaking her head and said slowly, in all seriousness, "I don't think selling babies a good idea."*

Gullible much? I guess I should have announced the April Fools thing at the top of the newsletter rather than the end.

*Edited to clarify: Reading this over at nine am, it did sound like she didn't appreciate the joke. What was really going on here is she thought there might be a chance we were actually going into the baby black market and she wanted to make sure it was a joke because if it was for real, she didn't think THAT was a good idea. (She's a very trusting person.) Once she figured out it wasn't serious, she thought it was funny. Clearly, I've got to stop writing blog posts at two am.