I was reminded today about a great caper that occurred nearly four years ago. I used to work for ah-ha.com. We were a close knit bunch who worked hard and played hard. There was always time for a practical joke.
Our main competitor in those days used to send something out to their clients to get them to add money to their accounts again. For a while, that competitor sent out a large plastic goose lamp. It looked just like a goose only it had a little power cord (ala paper lantern) that came out the base. My former boss, Jay, had an account that had gone below zero with that competitor and he was, very shortly, the very proud recipient of the goose lamp (it was probably Italian.) The goose kicked around for a few months, in and out of Jay’s office.
One late afternoon I got bored. I fell into collusion with my friend Jeff. Our scheme: to kidnap the goose and hold it for ransom. The first step was to take a proof of life picture. Done.
The next step was the note. I honest to goodness did a cut and paste the letters ransom note. Sorry, no evidence of the note survives. Trust me though, it was awesome. Jeff and I then enlisted the help of a Tech, named Mike, who helped us stuff the goose into a locked server closet.
When Jay got back from lunch he found the ransom note taped to his monitor. He then, despite what the note advised, attempted to contact the authorities and locate the goose on his own. In the meantime, my conspirator and I created a hotmail account (I’m pretty sure it was firstname.lastname@example.org.) We used the account to email our demands: lunch for 10. Jay replied asking for proof of life, which we sent. He then proposed tacos and other delicious Mexican goodies. Done and done.
Right before he left for lunch Jay got a new email from email@example.com. A rival gang claimed to have re-kidnapped the goose and had a new list of demands. When Jeff and I checked the closet, sure enough, the goose was gone. How could we have been so naïve as to let our meal ticket out of our sights? Think, think who could it have been? Everyone in the office knew the goose was missing, no one knew who had taken it, so who could have napped the goose from the goosenappers?
Ah, Mike: the erstwhile I.T. guy turned double-crosser. Some recon, a key finagling, and the goose was ours again. We made the drop just in time, the tacos were ours.
Just another ordinary day at ah-ha.com.