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Is someone pranking me?

April 01, 2004

Today is April Fools Day and today I seemed to be getting slammed with complaints about my prank where I suggest people switch decaf and regular coffee in their office.

As many of you might know, I have this large and funny Web site that has a nice collection of pranks. I rarely get complaints, but today I have heard from healthcare professionals, business people, lawyers all complaining that this prank could cause someone to end up in the hospital. I understand that people with caffeine sensitivity could have a horrible reaction to exposure to caffeine and I understand this reaction could be fatal.

So why would these people continue to drink coffee?

I understand how decaffeinated works. I understand it removes most of the caffeine, but not all of it. So even decaffeinated coffee has caffeine. Beyond that, if you are drinking a mass-marketed coffee like Folgers, Maxwell House or Starbucks, you might buy the decaffeinated brand, but how reliable is the coffee? If a multi-billion dollar company like GMAC cannot protect financial records (there was a recent scandal), what makes you think Folgers has reliable safeguards set up to protect you from caffeine in your decaf?

What if the waiter screws up at the restaurant or the barista at Starbucks? They could pour the wrong beans into the grinder.

You don't suppose someone is pranking me, do you?

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