This is a bit late, but I wanted to get permission from both parties to post it. Names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty), but it’s otherwise accurate.
My friend–we’ll call her Olga–sent this email to her mother on April 1st. Olga’s in her early thirties, and a bit of a socialite:
Hi Mom, Hows things?
So earlier this week I was contacted by the Corporate Employee Family Assistance Program and they have requested that I arrange a meeting through them with both my parents. It seems my coworkers have expressed concern with my drinking habits which they feel are beginning to interfere with my work. I believe this to be an over reaction on their part -but they are quite firm that I follow through with this program and it seems that if I do not take some positive action my job will be in jeopardy. Although I will say that I really don’t feel I have a problem. The meeting would involve a counselor, me, you and Dad.
I have already spoken to Dad about this and Sis knows-I will phoning you tonight to discuss. Don’t be upset -I’m sure this is all an overreaction. Talk soon. Olga.
Olga’s mom went and cried into her pillow for a couple of hours. Then she composed this very carefully-worded reply:
You can arrange this whenever you want to and I will make sure that I am there. It is hard for you I am sure to understand this, but I have been very worried for a very long time. Your job security is a huge issue, but way beyond that I am so worried about the damage you are doing to your little body.
Don’t worry though Olga, I know you are going to be able to turn this around and we will all be there for you. Would you like me to stay with you for a while on my own afterwards just for some company? Let me know and I would love to chat to you tonight so give us a call. Love you darling, Mom
Later in the day, Olga’s mom’s husband clued in, and Olga’s deadly ruse was revealed. Nasty, eh?
It was particularly effective because it played on the mother’s natural (though unfounded) fears that her daughter might be a bit of a drinker. Pranks that confirm existing suspicions are the best kind.