Tuesday 1 April 2008

What day is it, again?

Got something rather fun in my inbox today... took me a while to... well, you'll see:

Dear Mr Thomas,

My name is Alexander Garner, and I am the chief submissions editor for
Woo Hoo Magazine. A recent survey of our readers indicated that, and I
quote, "they only read it for the articles", and as we always listen
carefully to our consumers we are always on the lookout for new and
exciting writing talent. To this end, I was gratified to recently find your
blog, "Stuck in a Book". Literary material is always of interest to our
distinguished customers, and I am therefore writing to ask whether you
would be interested in syndicating your blog in the pages of our

I appreciate that Woo Hoo may not be quite the target market that you
had considered when you began writing, but rest assured that it is

entirely possible for work such as yours to sit comfortably alongside all of
the other articles currently published by our magazine (these include
the famous "Aunty Morticia's Lingerie Advice" and "Cor What A Scorcher"
columns). Of course, we would require some minor editing to your

This editing would consist of purely cosmetic changes, with perhaps
some slight alterations in tone. For example, I note that your blog is
currently very light on swearing. I fully appreciate that you may be
uncomfortable with too much swearing, but the odd burst of profanity tends
to reassure our customers. Similarly, your tendency not to include any
car chases or explosions in your work detracts from the overall ethos of
our publication, and we would, of course, insist on such elements
being introduced.

Although the sketches that periodically appear on your blog are well
executed, I fear that their content may be slightly too highbrow for some
of our readers. We would prefer it, therefore, if you could have your
sketch characters make more use of words like "boobs" and "busty", and
include fewer literary allusions, as most of these are likely to simply

confuse our readers. Likewise, if the photography that appears could
be replaced with pictures of cars, fighter jets and football players, we
would be considerably happier.

Lastly, as most of our customers have yet to read a book that they
could not roll up and use to swat a fly, I would be more comfortable about
syndicating your work if it contained fewer references to books
entirely. Perhaps replacing this element of your content with references to
the latest bands, TV shows (I hear that Skins produces particularly good
material) and Die Hard movies would increase your work's appeal.

I am sure that you will jump at the chance to see your name in print in
our distinguished publication, and as such I look forward eagerly to
hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Garner

Chief submissions editor, Woo Hoo Magazine

I tracked down which 'friend' was 'Alex'... you can track him down here....


  1. I was also "privileged" to receive an email from Mr Garner this afternoon, though this time he was working as the "the legally appointed representative of Initaclean, the biological cleanup company favoured by the University of Oxford, I have been asked to write to you concerning your medical research project."
    Yours, like mine, has a faintly believable first sentence and then rapidly spirals into implausibility. How many other friends did you try first before you identified The Beautiful Hypothesis?
    With love, Rosie

  2. I was proud that I got him first time! Didn't sound anything like my brother or Mel, and he was the only obvious choice remaining...

  3. Kudos to Phil :o) I was too tired for April fools this morning so I'm glad somebody clearly put some effort in.
    PS you never gave your story a title - if you invent one now I'll edit it in...

  4. I ... slow slow slow and a day late ... didn't even get that it was an April fool. Oh dear. Must try harder.

  5. M'Lady's Boudoir, perchance? :<)


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