Sunday, April 01, 2007

The 61-cent paper archive

There's a coffee shop on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, pretty near to where I live. It's called the 61C Cafe, probably because of the 61C bus line that runs past it. Last night while driving past it, I noticed the sign out front advertised "Sunday, April 1st: 61¢ cappuccinos (and after 10 PM on April 2-7)." I decided I'd have to get one of those on my way to work today, but then this morning it dawned on me--maybe it's an April Fool's joke. Probably not a good business move if so, but it is April 1st, and that is a notably cheap cappuccino.

It turns out that it's no joke; it's just a smaller cup. It got me wondering what other April Fool's jokes are going on today, though. Besides the weather, I mean, which got ridiculous fast. While wondering about that, I directed my browser to Gmail and saw on the login page this promotion of a new feature:

New! Introducing Gmail Paper

Everyone loves Gmail. But not everyone loves email, or the digital era. What ever happened to stamps, filing cabinets, and the mailman? Well, you asked for it, and it’s here. We’re bringing it back.

A New Button Now in Gmail, you can request a physical copy of any message with the click of a button, and we'll send it to you in the mail.

Simplicity Squared Google will print all messages instantly and prepare them for delivery. Allow 2-4 business days for a parcel to arrive via post.

Total Control A stack of Gmail Paper arrives in a box at your doorstep, and it’s yours to keep forever. You can read it, sort it, search it, touch it. Or even move it to the trash—the real trash. (Recycling is encouraged.)

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe Google takes privacy very seriously. But once your email is physically in your hands, it's as secure as you want to make it.

It's appropriate, I guess, that I rediscovered in a conversation last night with some friends and then another on IM with Jim Henley this morning that, much as I may imagine myself a wit, I'm sometimes too dense or humorless to get some jokes. I must have stared at that Gmail Paper explanation for a good two or three minutes as the thought formed in my mind, "Why...wouldn't...people...just print the stuff out on their printer?" Finally, it dawned on me, "Wait a minute....This coffe was only 61 cents, but...this is a joke!" Artfully done joke, too. Here's more.

Update (x2): Via the comments here [and, uh, now via the comments here, too], this is another, more clever Google prank.


Blogger BendiStraw said...

Check out this other one too ;-)

3:48 PM  
Blogger Steve Ely said...

I'm gonna take advantage of all their new services and get my printing delivered by way of my plumbing.

3:56 PM  
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