April Fools Day has always been an oppertunity for me to get back at the ineffective dickheads that are the management of Penbryn Hall at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. This year was no exception. Building upon the success of my last big prank, Penbryn-Hall.co.uk, a spoof ‘official’ site which almost got me expelled from the hall, this year I worked with Kit, Bryn and Claire in order to cause yet more chaos.
We had a plan in mind already, but when Penbryn sent out the following message on the internal e-mail system, we couldn’t help but pounce on an oppertunity:
From: Eiryls Evans <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 28/03/2003 13:46
Subject: Re: Maintenance Checks
On Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd April, Mark and I will be doing a maintenance inspection in student rooms.
This will involve checking for repairs and lights which are not working.
We will be starting in Block 1 at 10.30 am
If you have any problems e.g. desk lamp not working and would like a new bulb, please call at Reception.
A few things immediatley stand out in this e-mail. One is that the name at the bottom is not the same name as the person it appears to come from. A second is that it is not provided in Welsh, and is therefore in contravention of the University’s billingual policy…
…the third, and stupidest of the lot, is that they arranged to do room inspections on the first of April.
So, we thought… all we have to do is spread some more convincing (not difficult, considering) counter-publicity, stating that this e-mail was actually a student prank, and that there will not be any room inspections after all. We could even go so far as to state that we suspect that this e-mail may be the prelude to an attempt to gain unauthorised access to student’s study bedrooms. Mayhem in the making.
We came up with a poster that expressed pretty much this, and stuck copies up all over the hall. And it worked! People were absolutely convinced that our posters were real and the real e-mail was the hoax. In the end, the management had to spend their Sunday walking round from room-to-room knocking on student’s doors and assuring them that the e-mail was the genuine article. Oh; how I laughed.
The poster is available to download as an Adobe Acrobat file, below.
Download The Poster
Adobe Acrobat (PDF); 22KB.
The actual poster which was put up around Penbryn Hall for April Fools Day 2003.