Huntigowk

Just in case you were wondering, this story is an entry in the April Fool's Day Contest.

Mary called Jim into her office.

"Yes," he replied.

"Yes," he sighed. "That was only last week, Mary, so I haven't forgotten."

"Serious stuff then?" he asked.

"Can't you just give each of the section heads a copy and ask them to return or destroy it after reading?"

"Mary," he replied, clearly irked, "Look, don't take this the wrong way. You may have your reasons, but why are you asking me to do this? I'm a business development executive, not an admin assistant."

Jim took the sealed envelope and the circulation list from Mary.

The first name on the circulation list was Ian Fargle. lan appeared surprised by the content of the envelope. Jim had no idea what Ian was reading, but it had caused Ian to shake his head and re-read the information, scratching his head in wonderment.

Next on the list was Brian Bulger, who carefully read the information, looked Jim straight in the eyes and told him he had had his suspicions, but was very glad the information had now come to light and that such a great opportunity had arisen to resolve the matter. He quickly signed and then re-sealed the envelope.

"Nope," replied Jim. "At first they were surprised, but they seemed to view it in a positive light."

Jim had been worried the information was some sort of danger or threat, but now he felt relief that his colleagues were unworried and it looked like he was the bearer of good news. He returned to Mary's office in less than half an hour.

"Glad to have been of service," he replied.

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I expect Mary will get Jim to bring you this letter unknowingly.

As you know, Mary and I are old friends from our college days and it was she who introduced me to Jim a few years ago. At first I thought we had a good marriage. Unfortunately, I now have plenty of evidence that Jim has been sleeping with other women. As far as I'm concerned, he's history, but I need to get even.

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AUTHOR'S NOTE

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"Do you remember how I told you last week I had received some highly sensitive information from one of my contacts?" she asked him, frowning slightly.

"And do you remember I told you I would have to think about whether to make that information more widely known on a confidential basis, so that follow up actions could be taken swiftly and discretely?"

"Good. I have reviewed the information, determined its authenticity and drafted a form of agreement for its release," she responded, "but it is on a read only, restricted circulation basis."

"Oh yes, Jim, very serious. In fact, it's so serious that I need you to hand deliver the information and the release agreement in a sealed envelope to the section heads in our department, one by one in turn. You will need to wait, make sure they read the information, then sign the agreement and re-seal the envelope. You don't need to bother with the two women. I have already shown them the information."

"No, Jim. This is highly confidential and I don't want the chance of any copies surfacing later."

"People have trusted you for years, Jim, and I know you're the most appropriate person for this particular job. I know you would make every effort to keep a lid on this if you knew what it was about. That envelope has to remain sealed, otherwise there could be significant repercussions, including people very likely losing their jobs."

"I've told them all to expect you, Jim, so there should be no unnecessary hold-ups. Just get them to open, read, sign and seal, then get back to me as soon as possible. It shouldn't take longer than an hour."

"My goodness, Jim, that's a heck of a thing. Life is full of surprises. I better sign before I have any second thoughts about it," he said.

Charlie Cummings was almost speechless. He looked over the information a couple of times then asked Jim whether the others had said anything about the content of the envelope.

"Pleasantly surprised is probably a good way to put it," replied Charlie. "This is one of the best offers I've seen in a long time."

"Thanks, Jim," she said, with a grin, as he handed over the sealed envelope. "This would not have been possible without you."

Mary opened the sealed envelope as soon as Jim left her office. There were three positive ticks and three signatures on the agreement. Satisfied that the requested outcome had been achieved, she re-read the information that had been provided. It was in the form of a brief, but unusual letter.

Hi Guys

Please do not let him know what this letter contains. Do not laugh or smile as you read this. Simply countersign the letter and put a tick against your name if you accept the offer.

I've asked Mary to get Jim to personally bring you this once in a lifetime offer on April 1st. I have known the three of you for longer than I've known Jim. All three of you are currently unattached. I know you like me, I need some revenge sex and I'm offering it to you. Don't worry. We will be discrete. Please help me make Jim an April Fool and a cuckold.

Mary sighed with satisfaction as she popped the countersigned letter in an envelope and addressed it to Jim's wife.

According to easily accessible sources on the internet, April Fools' Day in Scotland was traditionally called 'Huntigowk Day', meaning hunt the gowk, which is the Scots word for a cuckoo or a foolish person. The traditional prank, dating back hundreds of years, was to ask the unsuspecting victim to deliver a sealed message supposedly requesting help of some sort. However the message read "Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile". Reading the message, the recipient would then send the gowk to the next person, with the same result.

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