Attack of the Hank Green cover!

The Preamble

We tend to keep our heads down and work. If you sneak into the office, you’re probably going to hear either the mad clicking of many keyboards, or a heated discussion about how to save on shipping costs without affecting shipping times, or how to properly wrap rare books so they’re bullet proof. If it’s lunch, all bets are off–we argue about everything from YouTube videos, to sharp cheddar versus medium cheddar, to the Oxford comma and how to pronounce “gif” (with a soft “g,”AMANDA).

Usually, work and play don’t mix. But sometimes, especially during a stressful time like post-fundraiser fulfillment, we just need to DO something. That means office pranks. Maria is usually the victim, because she responds the best and doesn’t expect it (we convinced her once that Rachel quit–she cried, but Rachel brought bars, so that was okay). Mindy is another good sport (Jeff and Brett hide little notes around her workstation that just say “El Chupacabra”–there are three she hasn’t found yet).

Mindy’s trophy wall–the one on the left is just big enough to cover her mouse’s optical sensor…

The toughest people to prank are Amanda and Brett, because they’re both jaded and tend to expect that sort of thing from us. Of the two of them, Brett is the most difficult to prank because a) he expects it, b) he doesn’t react strongly to things, and c) we usually need him to help set up pranks.

But we got him. And it was a looooong game. Buckle up, campers!

The Story

When Hank Green did his angry, acoustic cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” for our 2014 annual fundraiser, Maria and Amanda played it constantly, because it’s awesome. In fact:

Bask in its glory.

Brett complained, and we understand. Not everyone can handle so much greatness, especially not ten times a day at high volume. But Amanda decided he needed to appreciate it, so, with Jeff’s help, she dumped Hank’s song onto Brett’s MP3 player. Now. Brett’s MP3 player is a thing–it’s always playing in the office, and it’s loaded with a TON of music, because he’s a music nerd. So Amanda and Jeff dumped a few copies of Hank’s song onto it and waited for the song shuffle to do its thing. And they waited. Nothing.

So they loaded more copies onto the player and waited.

Then Brett switched out his player for a different one, and Amanda panicked, and they loaded even more copies of the song onto the player (she didn’t know he just moved the memory card to the new player, along with all the previously-loaded Hank). It’s now been nine months, and FINALLY Hank showed up a couple weeks ago. Rachel and Brett were a little confused, especially because the tag said it was the Bangles, not Hank Green, but whatever.

The next day, it played twice–once labeled as Michael Jackson, and another as the Bangles. It was like stealth Hank Green.

This is not the Bangles.

The day after that, it played again (Bangles, above, and one later labeled Belle and Sebastian) and Rachel exclaimed that she had no idea what was going on (she didn’t–only Amanda and Jeff knew about the prank). Amanda heard her and started laughing, and that’s when the game was up.

Brett has started a tally sheet, since Amanda has no idea how many copies of the song are now hidden on the player, waiting to spring. He could just plug the player into his computer and find them, but he said that’s not as much fun. Jeff challenged him to find them all, since he changed the ID3 tags on all of them to resemble an assortment of 80s albums–he says there are at least five albums’ worth of Hank’s song, probably more. There are supposedly ten of them masquerading as Kenny Loggins. Brett thinks it’s funnier to let them show up organically.

This Post-It will probably have a companion after a while…

So why did it take Hank so long to show up, especially with so many copies of the song now loaded onto Brett’s player? Because Brett’s a tech hipster as well: we found out he uses an open-source MP3 firmware replacement called Rockbox. When you shuffle all the songs on a Rockbox player, Rockbox makes a crazy-long playlist of everything, randomizes it, and then plays THAT in order. He claims that way there are no repeated songs (Hank is proving him wrong these days). Hank’s song didn’t show up until now because Brett’s stupid playlist never even included it until he reshuffled everything again that Monday. Nine months. Brett’s playlist was playing for nine months.

Nobody should have to listen to that.


Mindy found some more chupacabras:

And the tally climbs:

Update 2:

Brett finally had to remove the Hank Greens from his MP3 player, under pain of death by Jenny (who, strangely, delights in Paul & Storm’s Randy Newman gag, which are all sprinkled throughout Brett’s playlist as well). He found all of the Hank Green covers: 63 copies of that song scattered around his player under different names and in different folders. The end of an era…