And Also, There is No Santa Claus

I got an e-mail from a good friend yesterday telling me about an amazing occurrence that was to take place in the sky.

Apparently on Aug. 27, at 12:30 a.m. the planet Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye!!! This will happen because Mars will come within 34.65 Million miles of earth!!! It will actually look like the earth has two moons!!! The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287!!! NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see this again!!!

Naturally, I was very excited about seeing TWO MOONS in the sky!!! I quickly sent this exciting news off to my friend in New York, who is into astronomy. I’m like that. I share. I immediately got back an e-mail from him, patiently explaining to me that this was an old urban myth and directing me to Snopes to read all about it.

All the exclamation points should have been the first tip off. But hey, no harm done. I informed the friend who had sent me the e-mail, and she had already been informed by the friend who had sent her the e-mail. (That’s progress, no? In the early days of the internet these kind of e-mails would go for months before you’d learn the truth. Now, we can find out very quickly that the huge cat is just Photoshop.)

huge cat
What does this have to do with marketing?

We, who in the business of marketainment (or is it entermarketing?) are of two minds with all this. Because hey, it’s FUN to make pictures of gigantic cats. During the home remodeling frenzy of the last few years, I wrote a (satiric) article about the government instituting a remodeler’s dress code, and I actually received an angry letter from someone defending their right to wear overalls. They believed me! Which … is kind of fantastic. But which also made me feel a little guilty. I never meant to trick anyone. I thought it was so ridiculous that no one would ever believe it. A government-imposed dress code for private citizens? That’s crazy! About as crazy as … two moons in the sky.

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