Johnny Monsarrat April Fools

Johnny Monsarrat Meets Microsoft

October 1996. It's my birthday and it's time for my coworkers -- all of whom I had the right to fire -- to play a prank on me. At the time, I was in discussions with Microsoft about distributing our first videogame. They were bigger than big, and with just 30 employees, our company Turbine was smaller than small. So to say that we took the Microsoft meetings seriously was an understatement! We worked all day and night on demos.

Rickland Powell, Jeremy, Will, Tim and many other employees contacted the Microsoft rep and got him to call up Dan, our business consultant. Dan was told that Microsoft wanted a big demo right away, one that might impact our deal. So we rushed around like crazy people preparing our presentations.

Rick and the Turbine team lie in wait.

The morning of the event, we ran over the the restaurant and the receptionist told us that Microsoft would be late arriving from the airport, but we can be seated. Dan looks in the reservation book and sure enough, Microsoft is penciled in. Microsoft has even ordered us an appetizer.

We sat down to eat the appetizer... and it was Shaws Frosted Wheat Puffs! Of course this was a play on the previous Wall of Wheat Puffs incident!

The best prank is when the victims are so surprised that they can't accept the new reality. "But, but, is Microsoft still coming?" I ask? No, silly! Happy birthday.

This was definitely a nice prank, but there was some problem. I think Microsoft was originally going to be present, but they had to delay. So instead of a day of waiting, it made us crazy for a whole week, wasting our time. Rick could have stepped in and let us know that it was just a prank, but he kept devilishly mum. Well, I guess building a demo is not a waste of time, but still. Later, I got Rickland back with the Little Willie prank, which also went awry and wasted a bit of his time (less than a day, so Rick still owes me six days!)

The greeter even had Microsoft in her RSVP book

No Microsoft, but at least we got Wheat Puffs!