Antarctica Expedition Update

Antarctica Expedition Update

Another beautiful April day in Minneapolis

Thank you all for your outpouring of support for my upcoming expedition to Antarctica to photograph radioactive glow-in-the-dark bunnies. If you haven’t figure it out until now, please don’t hate me — it was an April Fool’s hoax. Though I have to say, after all the encouragement and great comments, I may have to go anyhow! In fact, I think a few people are getting ready to send me there in a crate after they realized that it was a hoax.

I had a great time writing and learning about the Antarctic. It would be amazing to go there, I think imagining going there helped me write it. My original idea was to just claim to be going to Antarctica for the summer, since I have been complaining about the cold up here for four months. But my friend Karen said that it needed an impossible twist to make it an April Fools — she came up with the glowing bunnies. Thanks go to her, and my other friends Paul, Tom and Jeff, and my sister Sharon for listening to me and providing their ideas as well. Tom told me about the BBC penguin video in yesterday’s post. Also, as far as friends go, I may have lost a few over this. I might have to buy a few lunches.

All the links in the story do go to wikipedia articles and other sources that are real. McMurdo did have a nuclear reactor and it was decommissioned in 1972, but not because it had a meltdown. Earnest Shackelton sent a crew to Ross island, but he wasn’t there himself and his third mate was not Avery Chicane. I made up that name, chicane means to defeat someone through trickery or deceit; deception and Avery is a man’s name close to April. Also, Mark Buffer, the guy I “convinced it was true” was made up too, buffer is slang for the target of a con, similar to the term mark.

The traffic and number of comments were an all-time record for my site on Tuesday and it was enough to push my almost-six-month-old blog’s pageview count over 25,000. It was a great day for me; all day I laughed at the funny comments and answered calls from friends, both close and old that called to congratulate me along with several anguished relatives and clients.

My best call ever was from the Meteorologist Christine Clayburg from Fox 9 News who wanted to interview me on the air during the news Tuesday night. Unfortunately I wasn’t home when she called, but we managed to talk on Wednesday. She wanted to schedule me for next Tuesday. When I confessed that it was a hoax, she cracked up! She couldn’t wait to tell everyone in the news room. What a great sport, we talked for a while and hopefully I will be able to come up with something she can use on the air.

Also, earlier in the day, linked to it, which might be how Christine found me (I forgot to ask) — thanks Aaron!

On Wednesday morning, I received an email from Sharon Schmickle, former Star Tribune reporter, now writing for She too wanted to interview me about the trip. Like Christine, when I confessed, she rolled with laughter and enjoyed it. It’s nice to know, that if I ever do decide to go to Antarctica, I have some friendly reporters to talk to. I know what you are thinking, I should have played along and got some press. But, as my dad says: Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

Later on in the day, my friend Karen discovered something we didn’t know about earlier — someone actually made a glow-in-the-dark rabbit. Truth is stranger than fiction… here’s the article: Alba the glow-in-the-dark bunny.

Thanks again, take a moment to read the comments from the First, they are a lot of fun; the mix of people who got the joke and those who didn’t, all rolled together.

14 replies
  1. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    It was fun stuff… and yeah, getting linked on a MNspeak post will give you a little local spike in traffic. I thought it’d be fun… because at first I thought you weren’t kidding as well!

    P.S. Thanks for the link, but it looks like you have an extra “http://” in there.

  2. Jilly
    Jilly says:

    This has been the best fun and incredible to read of the responses you’ve had. Well done. You deserve every moment of pleasure it’s given you – and us! Here’s to the next April 1st, Mitch!

  3. Gerald
    Gerald says:

    as I said it was quite believable until you started on about the wildlife – the fact that so many really did not get the joke is what amazes me.

    what annoys me a little bit is the number of emails I got from you urging me to visit the site [it verged on spamming] – I’ve several email addresses and most of them got the message – I’m certain you bcc’d them all so I’m not LOUDLY complaining about that.

  4. admin
    admin says:

    Sorry, I didn’t want to overdo it, that’s why I kept the emails so short. I won’t be sending out any more for a while. I only intended to send one to each person who commented on the site in the past, if you used several email addresses, then you would have gotten several, sorry.

    I’m a joker, but hopefully not a spammer.
    – Mitch

  5. Eric
    Eric says:

    That serves me right! I should have read your text more closely – I did not see this glow in the dark bunny story!!

    I felt a bit stupid afterwards of course, but that is part of the game and I really had a good laugh!


  6. Strangetastes
    Strangetastes says:

    Ok, I’m an idjit. I just read this post after the email I sent you a few minutes ago. I was quite willing to believe that you could get such an assignment. The older I get, the less unlikely events surprise me. Damn, you went to a lot of trouble to put this together. You win the April 1 prize, hands down.

    Someone suggested in a comment to my April 1 post that the group should make April Fools the official theme day topic next year. I think that’s a very good idea. For the moment, though, I’m struggling with the concept of numbers for May 1. However, there IS something commonly associated with May 1 – I just wish the theme was a color.

  7. halcyon
    halcyon says:

    Hee! Good joke. As I don’t know you personally, there was no way I would have caught on to that. It was a bit of fun while it lasted though. 🙂

  8. Funnyspice
    Funnyspice says:

    Aloha, Mitch! I forwarded the link to a friend here. She totally bought it too! (She didn’t read any of the comments.) We both fell out when I told her the truth.

    The single BEST April Fool’s Day joke either of us has experienced.

    Again, I say BRAVO!

  9. slim
    slim says:

    Great one, Mitch! You had me — even to the bunnies . . . you see there’s a National Geographic children’s book titled Tom’s Rabbit by Meredith Hooper. It’s a true story about the 1910 Terra Nova voyage to Antarctica. One of the crew takes care of the rabbit on board who gives birth to 17 bunnies on Christmas Day . . . they weren’t glowing ones but with the power plant and a few generations . . . well I was already looking forward to sharing your posts with the children that I share the story with every Christmas . . .

  10. Sailor Girl
    Sailor Girl says:

    You are really talented!!! I also bought it! And thought: «I wish I could go as well…» and «People are killing this planet with polution and radioactivity!! Poor little bunnies!…» etc!
    I still laugh at it!!!!
    Wel done!!!


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