Fool me twice, shame on…

As some of you have now guessed, we were NOT in fact taken over by the junk peddlers of “Happy Hippie.” Our url is still very much our own. We want to take this opportunity to first thank the dozens who sent us emails of sympathy and offers of help to defend against the scurrilous cyber-squatters who chose the day before April 1st to attack us. Former SM guestblogger Cicatrix wrote to us immediately:

Who the f*ck are those squatters? They’re clearly not out to sell anything, but they’ve put in a lot of thought/effort (to mock either desis or hippies, I can’t tell) for random some web-hostage-takers. It’s like they deliberately hated sepiamutiny or something. I wonder if that idiot sepiahokum person is behind this. good luck, sepia crew. tell us if there’s anything we can do.

Former guestblogger PG wrote to us later in the day:

Sorry to see you’ve gotten squatted. The “products” — they’re all fake and there are no working links to buy them — are insult to injury. A friend pointed out that according to, you still should have the domain name until August 4, 2006. Could you give me more info on how this happened? I’d like to help if I can. Good luck,


Half the Sins of Mankind & De Novo


p>In addition, parts of the blogosphere were in shock (and some a bit happy) to see what had become of us (see here, here, here, here, and here).

Also, a special shot-out to the dark one for being such a good sport:

I was going to post something here about how sepiamutiny got hijacked, but i’ve realized i’ve probably once again been caught by their april fool’s joke.
f*ckers :)
p.s.–it is quite amusing when you read the entries for “happy hippie” :)

Let’s not forget to mention the signed petition either.

But…there were also heroes out there today. A diligent few could not be fooled by so simple and pathetic a hoax. One in particular, Kaps of DesiPundit and Sambhar Mafia, took it upon himself to figure out which bloggers had been fooled and then left a comment on each of their websites informing them of the elaborate deception. Folks, I want to humbly submit his name for special recognition during next year’s world-renowned Indibloggies. That kind of devotion to truth and justice in the blogosphere simply MUST be recognized by his peers. It was, dare I say, delightful. :) Actually, things got kind of crazy for a bit over at Desipundit. Someone even left a comment pretending to be me! Then the real me stepped forward to set the record straight.

Finally, I must address the villains that surfaced today on our “back-up site“. All the ghosts of the ignorant, who we have banned from Sepia Mutiny for leaving bigoted/racist/intolerant comments, were giddy with excitement over the fact that we had suffered a downfall, which would enable them, once again, to leave bigoted/racist/intolerant comments on our new site (on which they hadn’t yet been banned). It is really quite sad that they have nothing better to do with their lives, but who am I to judge? To these sad individuals I say “have an Endurance Bar,” and find the strength to do something more productive with your lives.


Thanks everyone! We hope you had fun. Each mutineer contributed to the product designs (can you guess who was the main force behind each design?) and Manish put the website together. We PROMISE not to continue this tradition next year.

Oh…I almost forgot. “Dhoomketu,” from the bottom of our hearts we apologize for the blasphemy.

94 thoughts on “Fool me twice, shame on…

  1. Damn you! Damn you all! ;)

    Omigawd, you got me!!! But, you gotta admit, that happy site was SO damn eeerie, although oddly familiar – it was gross! heh heh.

  2. with sm out of action for a a day, i was forced to waste some browsing time reading a zillion other blogs (thanks guys). it was interesting, but basically there are way too many blogs out there all repeating a lot of the same info and with 0 comments for every single post. but still they soldier on. have to admire that impulse. blogging really does require the strength of Hanuman!

  3. I AM HURT! DAMNIT! How could you fool us?

    actually.. i rememebered how you shut down this site last year. phew.

  4. it was really funny & well done. great stuff. also got to learn that there is a place in Pune called “horn ok please” which might or might not exist but has great food and ambience. true??? thought i glimpsed the cover of talvin singh’s album “ok” there. nice one.happy all fools day.cheers

  5. As someone who spent a half an hour looking into how you were “attacked” on behalf of one of your readers, I have to say I’m upset at the rather juvenile prank. Very cute. Thank you for wasting my time by crying wolf.

  6. A simple whois record check revealed it all. I thought no one would fall for this but what do I know? :-)

  7. yay! you’re back! good job on the happy hippy products – if they weren’t so damn funny and knowing, you might have had more people fooled and trying to rush order copies of The Progressive Ideological Democrats & Independents Organizational Training System by day and those hot linga thongs by night.

  8. come on, if happy hippies were cyber-squatters, why would they leave a link to the “popular blog at this page”? :)

  9. Anywho, on second thought only people who have not fallen for it might be geeks, skeptics and once-burnt-twice-shy. I have to admit ‘Happy Hippie’ was quite amusing.

  10. You mean Manish didn’t run off with the loot to his Arabian-sea-side love nest? Damn. I was so impressed with Vij consulting’s sneakiness. ;-)

  11. Omigawd, you got me!!! But, you gotta admit, that happy site was SO damn eeerie, although oddly familiar – it was gross! heh heh.

    me too…though halway thru the day i began to wonder….

  12. Or indeed, someone who thought it wasn’t domain theft–precluded, as you say, by the whois lookup–but thought it might be a particularly clever and malicious hack. If one isn’t a regular Sepia Mutiny reader and doesn’t know whether the domain owners are particularly cunning with technology, it’s easy to assume they’ve just misdiagnosed the problem. Which then leads to time spent thinking how it might be done and what help might be given.

    All of which is completely wasted because it’s in fact a couple of jerks crying wolf.

  13. I think this whole episode supports Shruti’s point in The tao of Steve comments.

    Welcome back!

    PS: Where can I get me some $70 toilet paper (or whatever the difference was?)

  14. wolf! wolf! wolf!

    good lord, call the wah-mbulance already. is everyone who similarly participates in april 1st-related mischief also a jerk? we’re merely a blog, not ashton in a shitty trucker hat cackling, “punk’d!” after a public/televised humiliation. a simple google search would’ve proven that we celebrated foolishly last year as well, setting…what’s that lawyer-y word for it…hmmm…PRECEDENT.

    sadly,you’re making a persuasive argument which supports every one of my new-york-attorney/friends’ collective contention that law school should be avoided at all costs, since it eviscerates creativity and destroys the spirit. you, however, are definitely in the right profession, since you’re so wounded you lost precisely half-an-hour of your eventually billable time. :D snark aside, no one forced you to use 30 minutes of your life the way you nobly chose to, you decided to do so on your own (granted, it was in service to a friend, which is kind on your part, but that doesn’t exactly summon images of a gun pointed at your head.)

    life is too short to be so bitter, vindictive and rigid, mr. rickey (and if i’m the one typing that, you’ve got it bad). there’s plenty of time for THAT after three years of hell, when you’re at cravath.

    p.s. dell blows. ;)

    • the sole female jerk, with the elegant white apple in her lap
  15. It was a nice try but was easy to decipher as well. Since everything on Apr 1 is suspect, it did not stand the scrutiny for even a minute. The fooling thingy will be come less predictable if only one could play pranks on day of the month instead of just Apr 1 alone.

  16. D’oh!

    And I was so worried too! This is one of my favorite blogs!!!

    I’m glad that it was just an April Fool’s joke! :)

  17. Damn damn you guys for pulling such a slick one! After Kaps warned me, I got the sinking and at once delightful feeling that he could be right. An April fool’s prank on March 31st. :-)

    …and then I get quoted on Sepia. Wow! am turning cartwheels in sheer delight ;-) Good one guys.

  18. i was up that morning pretty damn early and when i saw that, it took me for a second..then i realized april 1st was the next day, and i knew astronaut abhi would be pulling one of his pranks…although i liked the happy hippie site… fun times… wanted to order some of those items ;)

    happy april fools day everyone the bean

  19. You folks are all nuts, I SO wasn’t had..

    As I said in my email to Manish: Without SM around, I would surely forget about April Fool’s day..

    good one though..

    very funny.

  20. Yeah ok, so I fire off emails to you guys congratulating you on the joke… and then I begin to second guess myself since Anna said that it wasn’t a joke. And then I start feeling like a complete idiot… now this!



  21. Start working on next year’s prank now .. one that will fool us commenters who have been around for the past 2 episodes =)

    Ooh and next time have a secret link to the real blog that only those who really search the fake site can find .. like the websites of Lost. That would be cool! Yes, silly me actually searched the site for a “ha ha, we got you” link =)

  22. The White House just contacted me on the petition I just started. They want to know more about Sepia Mutiny. A N N A, i have pointed them toward you.

  23. You didnt fool me for even one second…..but it was hilarious…..everyone knows a maharani doll would cost more than $24.95! :P

    Hahaha! Good prank, guys!

  24. Once I recorded an answering machine message, in a completely natural voice with perfectly-timed pauses, that went like this:


    Sorry, Nina’s not here right now. Can I take a message?


    Of course callers thought it was me at first and started conversing, only to be suddenly told mid-sentence they were duped. I thought it was the best answering machine message evah – I still do, in fact – but it so deeply offended so many callers, including the man I was just starting to date at the time (who is now my ex-husband) who fell for it over and over and was not amused, (foreshadowing, perhaps, the disaster 5 years later that inspired my current life’s work) that I changed it back to a conventional message.

    I say, rock on Mutineers!

  25. Good one guys! Those sincere emails of support are priceless. Even if only a handful fell for it, those messages of support make it all worth it.

    Now to connect the mutineer to the product : Vinod : “The Progressive Ideological Democrats & Independents Organizational Training System” (That’s obvious !) Abhi : Heart of Hanuman endurance bar Sajit : Horn OK Please CD The doll, the vacation package and the thong : Anna, Ennis and Manish respectively.

    How did I do ?

    p.s. For the record, I didn’t fall for it, and tried to warn my fellow readers a day early.

  26. nina:

    your msg is awesome…i would’ve laughed… hehe…

    love the google april fools joke.. you guys should check it out ;)

  27. good job guys… – loved the attention to detail – the cute little references – the lingam, the asshat, the cafe-au-lait, the hornok, and on an on… – it was a labor of love and much appreciated – keep on trucking – and just wish i had kept a screenshot for posterity’s sake. maybe you should print glossies and sell it for like $4.99 a pop. btw – the folks at had a shout out to you applauding your work.

  28. Definitely was an elaborate hoax. But I guess, people who have been on the blogosphere was almost come to expect such acts on April 1st. I wouldn’t have been fooled even if apna Kaps hadn’t blown the cover. But the fake comment by Abhi on DesiPundit certainly threw me off but I was more amused than anything else. Good try, Mutineers.

  29. Damn you grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr imagine my shock as I settled into another ineffective work day and go to SM to find that ridiculous page. I was ineffective with anger for the next half hour. A half hour later it hit me that it was the day before April Fools and you fools made a fool of me!!! Grrrrrr I was all hysterical for a half hour. Don’t ever do that to me again. I actually worked yesterday!!


    okay no not really…but u suck.

    happy april fool’s!

  31. It was good, but I ruined it for myself by looking up who still owns the domain

  32. oh.. cool ennis.. thank you
    i cant imagine how much time it took you all to piece this together from conception to execution – i ballpark it at around 120 (wo)man hours cumulative – outside your regular jobs – i am in awe – i am a certified punkah now.

  33. Though I followed the DesiPundit link and realised it was a spoof, I thought it was inspired! Well done! I managed to fool some readers on mine too by pretending the site had been hacked.

  34. Hey guys – no need for shame – it does not reflect on your intelligence to get fooled once in a while. Worry not – the hundreds of thousands you’ve spent on your ivy league education was still a good investment! ;)

    It’s April Fool’s – laugh a little!!! Once I realized it was a joke, it was fun- like a kid again, adrenalin pumpin’ – akin to almost getting caught in a game of hide’n'seek. But still, that will not exempt you from a master plan of vengeance (BWA HA HA HA BWA HA HA HA (evil laugh)).

  35. who fell for it over and over and was not amused, (foreshadowing, perhaps, the disaster 5 years later that inspired my current life’s work) that I changed it back to a conventional message.

    nina_p, that’s quite the bio… hey – i was flipping through your portfolio and decided to borrow one of your strips for a little write-up or rather a cut and paste from some old postings… hope that’s ok with you – yell blue murder if not.

  36. Fantastic! Hilarious! I laughed! I cried!
    I want to enter into a contract with (Abhi?) to manufacture and sell “Heart of Hanuman” bars. I bet we could actually make some cash. Of course, we’ll have to outsource production, marketing, customer service, and any function that would require me to get out of bed. Thanks for a good gag, guys & gal.

  37. Mr. Rickey — A whole 30 minutes??? Horrors! As others have noted, much more time gets sucked out of many people’s day when the site is up and running, so overall efficiency was still probably up a few notches for the day. I suppose that your 30 minutes are, alas, simply collateral damage.

  38. i really hope that was Vinod with the Desi Progressive Democracts….that one kind of hurt!

  39. I want to enter into a contract with (Abhi?) to manufacture and sell “Heart of Hanuman” bars. I bet we could actually make some cash.

    Good lord, you’re probably right. If I had money, I’d buy stock. Scary.