Today was a pretty good April Fools’ Day.
This morning, I received an email from my film professor who I had played a joke on nine years ago when I told him that I was quitting the film program to focus on pre-law. I haven’t spoken to him since graduation, and I don’t think we’ve even emailed, but today his one-line note was simply “I never forget.” That made me feel pretty good. I still have the voicemail that he left in 2005, and I don’t believe I’ve tried to play an April Fools’ Day joke on anyone since.
Tonight, my team got me. Someone from our team in Dublin is visiting, so we had decided that we were going to go out for dinner. As the workday ended, I asked where we were going. Knowing that I’m very particular (and some would say peculiar) about food, Eric told me that we’d be eating at a new Caribbean place that he had just discovered. I instantly got nervous. Trying new food is a scary thing for me. Of course the first thing that I wanted to know was if I would be able to find something to eat. I asked to see a menu. Eric informed me that the new location didn’t have a menu online yet, but the Palo Alto location did, and sent me a link. I started looking, trying to figure out what I would eat. I also asked why anyone would ever go to a restaurant that didn’t have its menu online. Why would one take that risk? I was told to check out Di Big Tings. Research indicated that there were few menu options that didn’t involve coconut, beans, or meat on bones—things that would cause me to avoid a dish. I looked at a bunch of photos of dishes and settled on Chicken Shrimp Pelau as a candidate for my dinner. When it was time to leave, I admitted to everyone, “I’m so nervous right now.” Eric offered to beam me the location of the restaurant, where we would all meet. I looked at the map, and started criticizing him for not linking directly to a place marker, and asked if the restaurant was even on Google Maps. He told me that they weren’t on Maps yet. This happens with new places, and I often add new restaurants to Google Maps via Map Maker. Before we left, I decided that we needed to add the restaurant to Google Maps. I fired up Map Maker, and asked where the restaurant was located. When Eric showed me on the map, I was very familiar with the location. It was right next to Sushi Tomi, one of my favorite places to get sushi. I thought it was strange that I hadn’t noticed the new restaurant there, as I had walked down that street just last night after eating at Sushi Tomi, but I could have easily ignored that building. Eric started to hesitate, and I got the sense that he might not know exactly where the restaurant was located. Not wanting to provide imprecise location data, I announced that I would add the restaurant to Maps after we ate. As we started to leave, and I forget exactly how this came up (maybe in the context of directions for our visitor), I mentioned that I had eaten at Sushi Tomi last night. Eric looked shocked and disappointed. I panicked, thinking that he had somehow expected to have been invited the night before, even though it was an impromptu dinner with the visitor after he asked for a recommendation of a sushi place after work. But then Eric told me that the joke was on me: the plan was to get me to the building next to Sushi Tomi, where there was no Caribbean restaurant that I needed to be worried about trying new food at, and then surprise me with a sushi dinner. I had no idea and was super-impressed. They really got me good, even down to how to pick a cuisine that was right in that zone where it was different enough to make me scared, but not scared so badly that I’d veto the option. Well-played. In the end, we decided that there’s nothing wrong with getting sushi two nights in a row, and headed to Sushi Tomi.
There were a lot of other good jokes on the Internet today that I’m about to catch up on, but here’s one that I did get to see: Google Translate on mobile Chrome translates English to Emoji.
Update at 12:40 AM on April 2: And my favorite surprise of the day… there’s an update on HomestarRunner.com, complete with a Webvan reference. I still make H*R references at work, and fewer and fewer people are able to understand me. Now, maybe things will change for the better. Props to the HR Wiki folks for keeping that going too.