Hacks are "event humor". There are lots of examples out there in the world, and I've only included a few odd ones here.


Name hack at Heathrow!

The following email messages were sent out to an internal MIT administration mailing list shortly before President Clinton arrived to make a graduation speech.
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 98 04:00:20 EDT
To: aac-aoquery@MIT.EDU
Subject:  June 5 Procedures (Further)
From: drampian@MIT.EDU   (Dan Rampian)


 To: Department Heads, Lab and Center Directors, and Administrative Officers
 From: Chief Anne Glavin

 On Friday, 5 June, during the hours of the President's visit (9:00 AM to
 approximately 1:00 PM), no subpoenas for President Clinton or members of
 his Secret Service entourage are to be accepted by any member of the
 faculty or staff.  The MIT Administration has decided to extend this
 courtesy to the President as a way of making his visit here more pleasant.

 Anyone who approaches a faculty or staff member with a subpoena should be
 directed to the Institute Legal Affairs Office, Room 4-104.

 Your cooperation is appreciated.
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 98 04:29:27 EDT
To: aac-aoquery@MIT.EDU
Cc: gayle@MIT.EDU
X-Sender: jflorey@po9.mit.edu
Subject:  June 5th Preparation
From: jflorey@MIT.EDU   (Jack Florey)
X-Priority: 1 (Highest)

In preparation for the visit of President Clinton, donations to the
Democratic National Committee are being accepted at the MIT Asia Pacific
Corporate Relations Office, Room E38-400.  We encourage all of you, as well
as members of your staff, to make his visit here a success.  We understand
from his aides that this is especially important in an era of shrinking
government grant dollars.  Please stop in and leave a check or preferably

In these difficult times it is very important to show our support.  If
you've already made a donation to the Committee, no further action is
required.  Alternatively, you might consider a donation to President
Clinton's Legal Defense Fund.  These donations are being accepted by the
Office of Government Relations, Room 5-208 and by the MIT Washington
Office, 820 First St, NE, Suite 410, Washington DC 20002 (202-789-1828).

Jack Florey
Director of Development
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 98 04:52:55 EDT
To: aac-aoquery@MIT.EDU
Cc: gayle@MIT.EDU
Subject:  Attire for June 5 Commencement - Message for All Students
From: tha@MIT.EDU   (Thomas H. Adams)
Priority: urgent

Please post in your respective DLC's as appropriate.

There has been some recent controversy surrounding appropriate attire for
Commencement.  Normally, the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs would
not need to take a position on this issue.  However, it seems that a
substantial number of female students are considering a suggestive and
offensive form of dress.

It therefore is necessary for the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs to
declare that the wearing of black berets and kneepads by alumnae-to-be at
graduation is hereby forbidden.

This dress code will be strictly enforced for all participants in the
commencement procession.  No exceptions or exemptions will be made.

Thomas H. Adams, Special Ass't to the Dean for Student Affairs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA  02139-4307
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 98 05:16:22 EDT
To: aac-aoquery@MIT.EDU
Cc: gayle@MIT.EDU
Subject:  June 5 Policy
From: marmeau@MIT.EDU   (Themistocles Marmeau)

In addition to the recent ODSA ruling on dress, the President's Visit
Coordinator has requested that, to keep with the style recently adopted
at White House functions, women seated in the first three rows should not
wear undergarments.

While unusual, we expect that this will be cooler for those involved.  It
will also keep the President attentive during his speech.

The MIT Office of Special Events, along with highly-experienced members of
the Secret Service, will take steps to guarantee that no untoward
photographs are taken of those observing this dress code.

T. Marmeau
Special Events Coordinator

Australian Police have been unable to recommend a prosecution for the following scam:

A company takes out a newspaper advertisement claiming to be able to supply imported hard core pornographic videos. As their prices seem reasonable, people place orders and make payments via check.

After several weeks, the company writes back explaining that under the present law they are unable to supply the materials and do not wish to be prosecuted. So they return their customers' money in the form of a company check.

However, due to the name of the company, few people ever bother to present these to their banks. The name of the company: 'The Anal Sex and Fetish Perversion Company'.

An "Anti-shopping" Trip with the Los Angeles Cacophony Society

by Rev. Al

I had been thinking for a long time about making cement filled teddy bears. I wasn't exactly sure why. At first it was just a perceptual curiosity I wanted to experience, and I wanted others to experience: the idea of being handed what appeared to be a fluffy stuffed animal, only to have it go tearing through your relaxed fingers like a lead meteor.

The Christmas shopping season seemed an ideal time to get them on the shelves of Los Angeles toy stores, so late in November, members of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society gathered in my backyard to gut several dozen plush toys and replace their innards with Portland's finest.

We called them, "Cement Cuddlers".

Each bear wore a full-color laminated label identifying it as such complete with bar code from another toy. Inside the folded tag was the text:

Unfortunate Child, do not mistake me for a living thing, nor seek in me the warmth denied you by your parents. For beneath my plush surface lies a hardness as impervious and unforgiving as this World's own indifference to your mortal struggle. Hold on to me when you are sad, and I will weigh you down, but bear this weight throughout your years, and it will strengthen your limbs and harden your will so that one day no man dare oppose you.

The target was easy to select. Not far away was a large not-to-be-named toystore, the biggest and newest of the chain in Southern California, a massive thing like the newly christened Titanic just begging for its iceberg.

By 10:30, around a dozen Cacophonists had slipped in managing to place several bears on the shelves without arousing suspicion. Not content to just leave them there we appointed Cacophonist Todd to help direct the management's attention to our prank. At 10:35 Todd entered, located a Cuddler, and brought it to the register, informing the cashier he couldn't find the price.

Predictably, as he placed the innocent looking toy in those unwary hands, it went crashing to the floor like a particularly heavy bowling ball. After this, it just got worse. Todd began to demand a speedier price check, insisting that he had only minutes to complete this transaction before it would be too late to bring the bear to his nephew who was, as he repeated many times for our benefit, "in the hospital with a skin rash." This element of his story, however, did not appear to provoke the suspicion of the clerk, who apparently had no difficulty in imagining her customer entering the children's ward not long before 11 PM to dump a lump of fur-covered construction material in the lap of an ailing youngster.

However, as Todd's volume increased, backups arrived. One of the more astute clerks commented that she had never seen this toy before and wished to know what shelf it had come from. Indignantly Todd led them to the appropriate place. A half dozen clerks, and several customers gathered round in bewilderment, passing the four bears amongst themselves and shaking their heads.

I eventually moved into earshot, and heard one woman reading the tag aloud. "That's really deep!" she exclaimed. I could no longer resist. I moved in to express curiosity about this toy.

"Oh! That's a cute bear," I remarked as I reached for a Cuddler. Without warning, it was placed in my hands, which naturally were prepared to be unprepared for its weight. Another thunderous crash!

Now I was outraged! "Look here!" I said. "The labels say, for ages 2-10! How could "Nameless Toystore Chain" sell such a dangerous toy to 2-year-olds!"

Eventually I was calmed and began contemplating buying one for an older nephew. Cacophonist Frank became interested in buying one too. We all went to the register.

Thanks to the fully functional bar code, the farce continued. However, the bar code used was from another toy, and so the computer identified the toy as: Alien Face Hugger $1.99. More panic and confusion. The manager was called. In the chaos, the bears are handed back and forth a few times more giving Todd one more opportunity to let one fall, this time "on his foot" (about 4 inches from his toes). He begins to wail and pulls off his shoe and sock. The clerks are incredulous.

"Would you say he dropped that on his foot?" one says to me.

"I don't want to get involved," I say, secretly gesturing that Todd seems crazy.

The manager arrives, and he is young and sour-looking. Easily a control freak. We feel he is our divinely ordained victim.

They explain the difficulty with the scans, but he seems to pay little attention to the computer. Instead his eyes keep darting to Todd as he leaps around on one foot howling about the lethal bears to other customers.

"Come with me, sir. We'll see what we can do for you," he snaps, dragging Todd off to his little manager pen.

Frank and I continue as good cops to Todd's bad cop routine, but continue to hover at the register insisting on the purchase. We discuss with the clerks how troubled Todd seems and reread the label.

"This is weird," one clerk finally realizes, "a Teddy Bear literally filled with cement."

I suggest it might be a doorstop for children's bedrooms.

Then a ray of light descends on Nameless Toystore. "It's like a joke someone's playing or something," says one of our blue-vested assistants.

"You mean," asks Frank, with wonderfully stylized naivete, "like someone made them themselves? Maybe just this weekend? Took out the stuffing and replaced it with cement?"

"Or maybe that crazy guy did," says the clerk.

"No, no. Can't be," I say. "Why would he insist on buying from you something he made himself. That's illogical!"

Suddenly we hear Todd's voice booming again from the front of the store.

They have emerged from the manager pen.

This will mean so much to Bobby. God Bless you!" And he leaves with the bear in bag. $1.99! Lucky bastard!

Manager-man hurries to the counter with his panicky stick-up-the-ass gait, one ear pressed to a cellular, doubtlessly consulting the Nameless Toystore overlords. We mob him, insisting to know the price arrived at.

"They're not for sale."

We are incredulous, indignant. "This item is discontinued." He bites off the word and rushes to the shelves to haul the Cuddlers away. We continue to needle him as he gathers the bears. Suddenly, he swings around holding the furry blocks of cement as if he might do some harm. Perspiration has appeared on his forehead.

"Look!" he sputters, "I don't know how these things got on the shelves! They DON'T track correctly on the computer. I've never seen them before. I have NO explanation. It's like someone's playing a joke on MY STORE!"

It's in that word "my". You can tell. He's gotten that look like he's just seen the first crack in the brand new ceiling. We understand that if that crack widens by even a hairline, he's going to see through it. He already suspects Todd. He is probably 90 seconds from realizing that we're all part of it.

And so we decide to take advantage of our time.

"Could you at least tell us the manufacturer so maybe we could order the toy?"

He whips the label over, and reads, Brutal Truth Toys.

This is a good time to leave. There's still a half hour before midnight, so we take advantage of the energy we've gathered to make a few prank phone calls. I call a rival Nameless Toystore asking for Cement Cuddlers.

I'm put on hold and another clerk picks up the phone and claims to have actually pulled up the info on my Cement Cuddlers on the computer. He tells me I can get a raincheck. Sadly, when I ask for the stock number, he suddenly loses the record that he "just had, just a minute ago".

After going through three or four baffled and fairly easy to baffle clerks, I finally get to the manager. I am slightly indignant at the delays and feigned ignorance of a product I JUST PURCHASED THAT VERY NIGHT at their rival, the new Burbank store, we'd just invaded. The manager explains that this new store carries certain promotional items not available to the other stores because it is the newest and largest. I detect a note of envy in his voice, and soften my approach. I become confidential and ask if the new store hired away a lot of good workers.

"You know," I tell him, "I know it's big and everything, but it's so new... I mean, they didn't quite seem to have it all together yet." He agrees. He's heard rumors to this effect. "All the employees seemed, I don't know... nervous somehow. It's like the store's too big for them to handle. I get a nervous feeling when I go in there."

He knows what I mean.

"I think it's that manager, maybe. He seemed so tense and kinda angry somehow. He doesn't give me a good feeling. He seems a little odd. Have you heard anything like this?"

He's heard some funny things about this upstart.

"Yeah. Odd manager. Odd store. Come to think of it this whole cement teddy bear thing is pretty odd. Maybe this was just a special thing he wanted to order. Maybe they were his idea." He agrees, but he won't call the other store to see if they still have them in stock there. So I tell him I'll check back later.

And I will. It was a good night, and we still have 18 more bears to distribute.


By the time John pulled into the little town, every hotel room was taken. "You've got to have a room somewhere." he pleaded to the last hotel manager, "Or just a bed--I don't really care where. I’m completely exhausted”

"Well, I do have a double room with one occupant," admitted the manager, "and I’m sure he would be glad to split the cost. But to tell you the truth, he snores so loudly that people in adjoining rooms have complained all week. I'm not sure it'd be worth it to you."

"No problem," the tired traveler assured him. "I'll take it."

The next morning John came down to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The manager asked him how he survived.

"Never better." John said.

The manager was impressed. "No problem with the other guy snoring, then?"

"Nope. I shut him up in no time."

"How'd you manage that?"

"He was already in bed, snoring away. when I came in the room," John said. "I went over, gave him a kiss on the cheek, said, 'Good night, beautiful,' and he sat up all night watching me."

The AP reports today that, according to the *New York Post*, callers to New York Police Department headquarters for 12 hours ending 6am Tuesday [16 Apr 1996] heard a bogus recording that included the following: ``You have reached the New York City Police Department. For any real emergencies, dial 119. Anyone else -- we're a little busy right now eating some donuts and having coffee.'' It continued ``You can just hold the line. We'll get back to you. We're a little slow, if you know what I mean. Thank you.'' The NYPD had no immediate comment, but unnamed police sources believe hackers broke access controls and changed the message.

Phone Won't Stop Ringing? -- Here's What You Do.

Leola Starling of Ribrock, Tenn., had a serious telephone problem. But unlike most people she did something about it.

The brand-new $10 million Ribrock Plaza Motel opened nearby and had acquired almost the same telephone number as Leola.

From the moment the motel opened, Leola was besieged by calls not for her. Since she had the same phone number for years, she felt that she had a case to persuade the motel management to change its number.

Naturally, the management refused, claiming that it could not change its stationery.

The phone company was not helpful, either. A number was a number, and just because a customer was getting someone else's calls 24 hours a day didn't make it responsible. After her pleas fell on deaf ears, Leola decided to take matters into her own hands.

At 9 o'clock the phone rang. Someone from Memphis was calling the motel and asked for a room for the following Tuesday. Leoloa said, "No problem. How many nights?"

A few hours later Dallas checked in. A secretary wanted a suite with two bedrooms for a week. Emboldened, Leola said the Presidential Suite on the 10th floor was available for $600 a night. The secretary said that she would take it and asked if the hotel wanted a deposit. "No, that won't be necessary," Leola said. "We trust you."

The next day was a busy one for Leola. In the morning, she booked an electric appliance manufacturers' convention for Memorial Day weekend, a college prom and a reunion of the 82nd Airborne veterans from World War II.

She turned on her answering machine during lunchtime so that she could watch the O.J. Simpson trial, but her biggest challenge came in the afternoon when a mother called to book the ballroom for her daughter's wedding in June.

Leola assured the woman that it would be no problem and asked if she would be providing the flowers or did she want the hotel to take care of it. The mother said that she would prefer the hotel to handle the floral arrangements. Then the question of valet parking came up. Once again Leola was helpful. "There's no charge for valet parking, but we always recommend that the client tips the drivers."

Within a few months, the Ribrock Plaza Motel was a disaster area.

People kept showing up for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and Sweet Sixteen parties and were all told there were no such events.

Leola had her final revenge when she read in the local paper that the motel might go bankrupt. Her phone rang, and an executive from Marriott said, "We're prepared to offer you $200,000 for the motel."

Leola replied. "We'll take it, but only if you change the telephone number."