Pharyngula PhaWRONGula

April 1st rolls around again, and this year our prank was gentle. Where last year's hoax was frustrating and upsetting for the victims, this year's was whimsical and mildly puzzling. At Socar's suggestion we targeted PZ Myers, a biology blogger with a good sense of humour and an acutely skeptical mind. Rather than try to make him believe some bogus story or frustrate him by acting like complete dicks (he has to put up with enough of them as it is), we ended up creating a humorous tribute. For every post that PZ posted, we created some form of light verse to amplify, contrast, complement or simply make fun of it.

I knew when we started that I wasn't going to have a lot of time to dedicate to it, particularly with a major family event fast approaching. Fortunately, when PZ suggested Pharyngula: The Musical and we'd thrashed out a plot, Socar (as PhaWRONGula) took the bit between her teeth and wrote it by herself. At first I had thoughts of orchestrating one of the rousing choruses, but it soon became apparent that I had nowhere near enough time. I (as Phunicular) contented myself with tackling the occasional poem.

The tribute looked like getting a little draining when a belligerent fundamentalist ranter, "Darryl Rodgers", after being banned for flooding Pharyngula comments with spurious arguments and proselytising, took to posting doggerel on other Pharyngula readers' blogs, including our PhaWRONGula. Darryl (this thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy) provided the inspiration for a cinquain, and fortunately went away after his little hissy spam-spree.

out of his depth
has awoken. That is
not dead which can eternal lie
to self.

(No doubt the Lovecraft references were wasted on him, if he ever even returned to look at the blogs he'd dribbled on.)

Constructing clues to release on the last day was a convenient way to draw the prank to a close and encourage a little participation from the curious. PZ's trophy has now been ordered and should go into the mail within two days. Hopefully, he'll receive it within a week. A better view of the caricature of the young PZ is available on Socar's journal.