Saturday, April 01, 2006

I Pity The Fool...

...who forgot to be a fool today.

In all seriousness, I wholeheartedly believe that to forget April Fool's Day and not have at least some small, premeditated prank in the works is to concede a little piece of vitality. My good friend Glenn and I have spoken lately of "growing up withouth growing old." Forget April Fool's, and you'll be one step closer to talking about the finer points of minivans on the porch of your overpriced, gargantuan, architecture-in-a-box, suburban home. It's not pretty, folks. And it's not like you can't plan for it, like it can just sneak up on you unexpected. It's not Easter or election day, both of which require a church, contact with media, or a complex prediction algorithm (ie. 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday or whatever it is) to remember. It's April 1st. Every year, without fail. Easier than remembering your mother's birthday, even.

There is no excuse. None.

However, posting a claim such as this results in immediate self reflection, which can swiftly morph into self deprecation, somewhat akin to espousing the phrase, "Bored people are boring people," and then one day finding yourself counting flowers on the wall. I don't believe I've had a significant 4/1 prank in the works since a handful of us tried to empty the UM Music School classrooms of chairs and form a long line of them through the hallways. We only got through two classrooms, and most people just thought it was dumb. Ahh, next year.

No puckish schemes this time around, but I feel that sharing my favorite joke of all time may take me off the naughty list. It's terrible, I know, but I still love it. What's more, I was able to use it as an analogy last night for why education classes might not be of any help at all. And so...
A young enterpreneur buys a failing chicken factory, and sets about to create the most efficient chicken-packing business in the country. He hires three people to redesign and restructure the factory: a businessman, an engineer, and a physicist. Each has a month to mull over the problem and develop a proposal.

One month later, all convene at the enterpreneur's office. "Gentlemen, I thank you for your hard work and dedication, and, as all of you are recognized in your fields with the highest of honor, am most excited to see what you have brought to the table. As you know, the facility in question had, previously, a maximum daily output of 5,000 chickens at a cost of 80 cents a chicken. I have no doubt that you have managed to improve upon this significantly." The enterpreneur motions to the businessman, who begins.

"After a thorough analysis of your previous model, my team has come to the conclusion that your problems lie entirely in management." He then gives a 45 minute PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the point. At the end, he breaks down the numbers: "Using my new business model, we can guarantee a daily output of 10,000 chickens at 50 cents a chicken."

The enterpreneur, visibly impressed, compliments the businessman, then motions to the engineer to begin.

The engineer produces an interactive DVD, and begins. "By employing the latest in automated technology, plus several computers, I can increase your output to 20,000 chickens a day at a cost of merely 30 cents a chicken."

After the presentation, the enterpreneur is convinced and has forgotten entirely about the businessman, who is now wondering why he paid so much for his MBA. He motions to the physicist, with low expectations.

The physicist puts a large pad of newsprint on an easel, pulls out a marker, and turns to the enterpreneur. "50,000 chickens a day at 10 cents a chicken, this is what I can give you."

Aghast, the enterpreneur asks incredulously, "How on earth is that possible!?"

"Allow me to show you. First, assume a massless, frictionless, and spherical chicken..."
Thank you for the indulgence.

For those of you who are, like me, sitting happily at home on a Saturday night and burning out your retinas at the compy, I suggest you mosey over to Google and check out Google Romance. If you're reading this tomorrow, you may have to find it here.


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