This is an embarrassing moment for me.
I’m going to be open and exposed.
Raw and SEEN.
This is a story I can tell now that there are at least a dozen years behind me and a most unfortunate situation. But it still makes me cringe a thousand cringes. And ask myself, ”Stace, did you really??”
”I mean, REALLY??”
Long ago and far away in 2006, little baby Stacie was in a vulnerable place.
New job, new town, new STATE. I had moved to New York at the end of 2004 after graduating from college in Indiana and was completely unfamiliar with my surroundings. My first year and half involved bouncing from job to job to find the one.
In February of ’06 I found a job, I didn’t know yet that it was the one, and set to work (no pun intended) getting to know my role and my coworkers. It was my first foray in politics; I worked for a New York State Senator who would grow to prominence in our corner of the state.
In this new town, there was a local weekly publication called The Chronicle; it was a no-spin newspaper that covered exactly what I wanted to know about this whole new world in front of me. The Chronicle told me who was buying the empty building downtown and when the local hockey team was playing next.
And I really felt like I could trust what I read.
Until April 1st.
That very first April 1st.
The Chronicle publishes an April Fools edition of their paper that, on the front page only, brings the most nearly-possible, yet totally absurd ideas to life with pictures and ”interviews” and thorough reporting. Because it is a weekly paper published on Thursdays only, the April Fools edition didn’t always fall on April 1st. On March 31st you could find yourself with a fresh-off-the-press copy, completely unaware.
Literally. Let’s watch as she enters her regular coffee shop down the street from the office. Watch as she orders her drink and peruses the front page of the most recent Chronicle. It’s around April 1st, but Stacie is a grown-ass-adult and no longer on the lookout for pranksters and bullies itchin’ for a good gag.
A title catches her eye.
DEC to let beavers rebuild Hadlock Dam
Well, that’s interesting. She thinks.
Not that long ago the Hadlock Dam in a neighboring town broke down and drained Hadlock Pond. The pond is in her boss’s district and an issue she knew her coworkers were heavily involved in.
I mean, we’re talking files inches thick of correspondence.
(Side note: DEC is the Department of Environmental Conservation.)
A pressing, timely issue.
One she was sure her coworkers would be interested to know if there were alternative proposals floating around out there!
“Beavers are nature’s engineers.”
Of course they are!
”The plan would allow the beavers to naturally build their own timber dam… crews would fill in cracks with cement…check for structural soundness…”
Friends, I ran. Not walked. Ran. To my office.
I burst in the door.
I yelled to my co-workers, ”THEY’RE GOING TO LET BEAVERS REBUILD THE DAM!!”
Ala: “THEY’VE LANDED ON THE MOON!!”
I was full of awe and excitement! I explained the complexities, the engineering involved.
I rationalized the plan. Out loud.
The plan to let beavers build a fully functional dam that livelihoods depended on.
I heard nothing.
Not a peep.
No excitement, no questions, no response.
I thought nothing of it, until One. Year. Later. when I read the 2007 April Fools edition. Me, not-so-new to this world, recognized the absurdity and then…
Extreme camera zoom. Record screech. Eyes. Wide. Open in realization.
First realization: I believed a state agency that is full of highly qualified professionals was going to let beavers, BEAVERS, rebuild a dam. A DAM for crying out loud!
Second realization: I shouted this, SHOUTED, from the freakin’ rooftops to people I barely knew.
**Long pause while I just crawl under this table here**
I’m glad I can’t actually see you roll your eyes.
Enjoy my pain, ya sickos.