Government contracting is serious business, but even (some) strait-laced government and government contracting types got into the spirit of April Fools’ Day. Here are a few brave souls who took off their serious hats for a day of fun, with April Fools’ Day pranks. (And no, the surprise April 1 announcement from Deltek [GovWin is a Deltek Network] about its acquisition of FedSources is not one of them — this actually happened.):
- The U.S. Army announced on its Web site that its new standard headgear would be a Stetson hat. Clicking through the gallery, the photo of a canine soldier wearing the headgear was clear indication of the hoax, no doubt to the disappointment of many soldiers who dislike the black beret adopted service-wide in 2001.
- Steve Ressler, founder of federal worker community site Govloop proclaimed via Twitter that “Starting today I will never use the word awesome again” just before sending out the latest edition of his “Daily Awesome” email to members. And if that wasn’t enough, the site announced a T-shirt design referencing a semi-famous internet meme.
- The TSA got into the spirit by announcing a TSA Alien Detection Officers(ADOs) who would help scan invisibility cloak wearing aliens who were previously sneaking through security checkpoints.
- Even the USDA Forest Service got into the act by launching an early morning April Fool’s Tweet: (@forestservice) “While we like the RTs, don’t just retweet – be brave! Admit that you have seen #Bigfoot to the world for #ForestFriday!”
- US News and World Report delivered a story about a $600,000 statue of a 10-foot-high fairy riding a frog that could greet employees of the DOD’s $700 million Mark Center in Alexandria this fall. With a ridiculous picture, silly details like the fact that the statue “gurgles the sounds of nature” and a final decision on the statue happening on April 1, this was a clear hoax. Except it wasn’t: We called U.S. News & World Report, who confirmed the truth of the story. Words fail.
My List of April Fools’ Day Stories (Rejected)
As a frequent practitioner of folly, I had taken a few moments to formulate potential stories that, despite the serious nature of the government contracting industry, might seem slightly viable. Of course, the boss nixed them. Still, these would have made great stories, right?
- Department of Energy to announce Power Enrichment, Extended Purpose Source (PEEPS) bid to use low-cost, post-Easter snack food as low-pollution fuel source
- GSA updates DoubleSpeak rules for how government communicates with citizens; first major rewrite since 1984
- SBA considering Overweight Caucasian Male set-aside to help break the glass ceiling for a beleaguered and deceptively overlooked cross section of American businesses
- Department of Army apologizes for misprint in Afghan propaganda campaign that inappropriately asked Taliban tipsters to call a small Toledo tuxedo rental shop.
- Latest Wikileaks uncovers F-35 program is a hoax; funding was funneled to an unannounced and secretive DOD project at Cheyenne Mountain called “Stargate Command”
Have a favorite government contracting-themed April Fools’ prank or hoax? Leave a comment.