I used to take April Fool’s pretty seriously. but to do it well, it takes time, energy and the guts to take a risk. Which is why, again this year, I have to agree with those that say that April Fools online kinda sucks.

So this year, I thought I’d talk instead about the best April Fool’s joke I ever put together, one I never had the guts to pull off.

Very simple, really. Everyone in the building at Apple I worked in at the time would show up to a memo on their desk announcing Apple’s new Drug Testing Policy.

With a sample cup. And instructions on where to drop it off.

This one had the potential for chaos on so many levels. The obvious: a drug testing policy is so against the culture of a company like Apple, it’s an obvious riff. And frankly, a “here’s our new policy” memo or email just isn’t that interesting. But toss in the sample cup and submission info, and it’d suddenly feel a lot more real — at least initially.

then think about the different layers of this: people who don’t get it who get pissed (ahem) and start screaming about it until someone clues them in.

Then start thinking about the poor person at the wrong end of the submission address. And the interoffice mail folks. And… Because you know some folks WILL. And some folks will — but using innovative substances. And…

This one goes way back, when the subject of affection was Kevin Sullivan, for whom I had no real love lost for his work at Apple.

But the reason I never did it was because the peope who’d take the brunt of the bad aspects of the joke weren’t the people it was aimed at (Sullivan, Apple HR at the time, and whiny people who scream first and think maybe), but the AA’s who’d actually have to deal with all of the submissions. And that just didn’t seem funny to me. Now, Sullivan himself dealing with them? that’d have been worth being fired over…