The Peppa Pig Fan club fails

April 2, 2019 — by Allen Chen

The nightmare started a few weeks ago, when, on a whim, I signed up for an April 1st prank story using an idea from a meme. The general plan was to put up signs for a nonexistent club in an attempt to lure people into a teacher’s room. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought through any of the specifics. I had a rough idea for an obscure cosplay event to maximize the embarrassment of the victims, but otherwise nothing.

In order to assist with planning the operation, I drafted my meme group chat. When prompted for a fandom that was “kind of obscure but still accessible,” my partners in crime responded with only a fraction of a second’s delay. “Wild Kratts,” typed a Pepe chat head, who immediately changed her mind and enthusiastically suggested “PEPPA PIG!11!1!” instead.

The pink, rebellious kids show character, who had become something of a meme after being banned in China for being “counterculture,” seemed perfect at the time. It was appropriately meme-y, not too outdated, while still being just about believable. However, I probably should have realized the situation I was about to get myself into.

Operation Peppageddon had been born. My end goal was to get a full room of people in Peppa cosplay — an overambitious dream at best, and an indicator of a mental breakdown at worst. To achieve this high bar, we would need much more preparation.

After some more discussion, we decided to ask English teacher Amy Keys if we could use her room. How did this happen? I lamented as I stood in front of Keys’s room, mentally preparing myself for the absolute sus-fest that was about to occur. My unofficial partner in crime, the owner of the Pepe chat head, walked in just in time for us to ask. Thankfully, Keys took it pretty well, although she was understandably dubious. “Will anyone get hurt? Not necessarily physically but spiritually,” she said, only half joking.

“Yes, there’s going to be some spiritual pain involved,” I admitted after an awkwardly long pause.

Somehow, we were greenlit to use the room, as long as we didn’t overlap with any actual clubs. Now, we only had to pick a date and begin spreading the lies.

Faced with extreme scheduling constraints, I conscripted another friend to help with logistics and started working on the signs. We went through a few drafts of increasingly bad signs, pushing the limits of believability, before settling on a multicolored, Comic Sans-covered mess that had many letters too bright to see.

The trouble started pretty much from that point, as the date was pushed further and further back by printer issues and a general lack of motivation. But, with a quickly approaching deadline we settled on March 27 and put up a few signs around campus.

On the day of the event, I donned a hastily made, somewhat nightmarish Peppa Pig mask and went to Keys’s room to wait for my victims. After no students arrived at the club for the first few minutes, we decided to venture out into campus to bring the club to them. More than a little self-conscious of my unusual choice of face wear, and mostly blind, my friends led me around the school yelling at random passerby to “go to Keys.” Through the tiny eye holes I had made, I could see people both recoiling in horror and breaking down in laughter. After a few minutes of parading, we returned to the room with a total of zero new recruits.

Ultimately, around five people visited during the end of lunch while we were waiting there, in two large groups. Both groups quickly left when they discovered the desolate state of the club, but not before having a laugh at the Peppa we had drawn onto the whiteboard.

Clearly, the prank was a bust, hardly attracting enough victims to count as a success. Honestly, I’m surprisingly relieved at how few people were exposed to our antics. To anyone who was frightened by my Peppa mask, I apologize. I promise that when we make this an official club, I’ll make a less scary one.

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