The first day of April really should be a national holiday -- a day when everyone relaxes and looks at the ridiculous side of life. Though, seriously, advertising a ticket to Mars for $99 -- as Expedia did -- is taking things a bit too far. I had my plans halfway completed before "getting" it. As for Google's CADIE system, I wonder whether that's what they've been working on at G.C.H.E.E.S.E., its research station on the moon.
Here at TMF World Headquarters just outside Washington, D.C., we treat April 1 with the sense of fun it deserves. But we also take our April Fool's prank quite seriously.
So did many of our readers. "I am outraged that you stand there and tell me, as a taxpayer, that you really didn't need the millions of money you got from the TARP fund, but you figured out a way to get some anyway! ... What happened to honesty, integrity, doing the right thing?" We got many along those lines -- which was, to some extent, part of the point.
But thankfully, most of our readers got the joke, even belatedly. Several, after writing a note similar to the above, came back later to confess, "You got me." Even more just wrote, "April Fool's!" And a few wrote notes along the lines of, "I got through the initial letter and it didn't hit me until I got half way through the first profile."
Besides those comments, or others like, "If I vote for Luther, will that ensure he'll stop posing for pictures like that?" and "April Fool's day greetings from the Netherlands," (Goede dag!) many of you were considerate enough to give suggestions for how we could spend that last $1 million. So here, without further ado, is a baker's dozen of suggestions and comments from you, our Foolish readership.
13. "How about dancing lessons for Tom & David so they can go on Dancing With the Stars?"
12. "Landscaping (specifically flowers) for the Fool hat on Mangunca Island to reflect the colors in Elvis' hat."
11. "Jester caps for all!!!"
10. "Great story, guys! I almost forgot what day it is. Send the Foolmobile to my house and drop off some of that gov't cash!"
9. "I would like to throw my hat in for a share of the $1M. I am retired and having a lot of fun. But I could have even more fun with a few thousand bucks in my pocket. ... And I would be transparent about it. In fact, you would barely be able to see me."
8. "I cannot believe you didn't order your own Reset Button!"
7. "I'm sorry, but I see no way for the Gardner Brothers to get two decently outfitted Harleys for this price!"
6. "[Y]ou can pay it to me to write the quintessential Motley Fool Investment Guide for People Who Don't Even Know the Vocabulary of Investing and So Have Been Afraid to Take the Plunge and Try It for Fear of Doing It Wrong."
5. "How foolish to only ask for $25 Million. However, it's never too late to ask for more."
4. "$5,000 -- for ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. Support executives who limit their pay."
3. "But please, take a moment to reflect on your recent purchases and look into the future; seriously consider spending the remaining $1 million on maintenance contracts. The jet, toilets, computers and monitors ... these will need to be serviced because these are the 'gifts' that keep on needing. A Senate seat? Those are a dime a dozen. But a good solid service contract (the kind that expires just days after the covered item breaks down) -- those are pure gold (to the company that sells them)."
2. "I am laughing so hard I am almost crying. April Fool's indeed! Fool on, gentlemen, fool on! I believe that you are dramatically underestimating the cost of your allocations. Do you have any idea how much an Illinois Senate seat goes for these days???"
1. "I suggest you use approximately 20 dollars of that money to buy me a new keyboard, because I laughed so hard I spit Cherry Coke Zero all over it!"
And if anyone sees this lady, please give her our sympathies: "And then I read the rest of the bios, the ads on the page, and the disclaimer, and laughed my butt off! If you see a short, dumpy woman walking around with no butt, it's me!"
Finally: "You had me for a couple of minutes and I was almost ready to send in my cancellation. That just shows the extreme level of absurdity that has been reached in the bailout mania! Please, please continue to be voices of Foolish sanity in an insane world."
In case you missed the April Fools' Day fun:
- A Letter From Tom and David Gardner
- How The Motley Fool Allocated Its $25 Million
- 20 Frequently Asked Questions About The Motley Fool's Government Funding
- Get Involved! Help Us Designate the Remaining $1 Million
- Video: The Motley Fool's Funding Announcement on CMBC
- The Motley Fool Returns Bailout Funds