Oct 10, 2008

Have You Seen This Chimp?


It all started innocently enough this past Friday, October 3.  MailChimp Co Founder Ben Chestnut was to give a presentation on the basics of email marketing at this year’s Webmaster Jam Session.  In an effort to showcase the newly acquired life-size MailChimp (and pull off some subliminal marketing at the same time), Ben brought Frederick Von Chimpenheimer IV plus two cases of bananas with him to the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta.  Had we known then what we know now, Freddie might  have stayed safe from the hands of his ruthless abductors!  Allow me to recount for you the harrowing saga surrounding our dearly beloved missing MailChimp.

Our first indication that something had gone amiss came in the form of a tweet from Ihazurchimp.  We received the transmission early Saturday morning, October 4:

Mission accomplished: Chimp abducted, sans bananas. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ihazurchimp/2911326328/ #WJS08

The MailChimp Tactical Assault Operations crew was dismayed to say the least.  With only a Twitter username and the knowledge that these rogue chimpnappers were lurking about the Webmaster Jam Session, MC-TAO was forced to wait it out.  In the mean time, we created this page as an emotional coping mechanism.

Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long before receiving the next in a series of cryptic communications from Ihazurchimp.  The tweet was directed squarely at MailChimp, and it was clear that these "evil-doers" were not interested in bargaining:

@mailchimp The chimp is being well cared for since being liberated from indentured servitude. We only wish he would stop flinging his poo.

MailChimp in South Carolina!

They wanted one thing, and one thing only: Frederick Von Chimpenheimer IV.  From the series of messages that followed, it became apparent that the captors’ agenda had little to do with a disdain for MailChimp as an organization.  Nope.  It was being played off as a radical protest for chimp liberation.

By Sunday night it was blatantly apparent that Freddie’s abductors had taken him across state lines.  (Little did they know this would allow their crime to be prosecuted as a Federal offense!)  I present to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Exhibit B at right: MailChimp in South Carolina.  Fortunately for MC-TAO, as the details of the Freddie’s disappearance began to unfold, we had lots of unsolicited help from our friends and allies.

Ken Seals, in particular, did some excellent detective work, deducing that OnWired has the MailChimp.  And who is OnWired, you ask?  From their website:

By day, we’re a small, vibrant web design studio located near Raleigh, North Carolina. By night: a band of highly–trained, elite special operations web mercenaries on the lam from the law.

Yeah, we thought it was a strange coincidence too.  Furthermore, Ken exposed the fact that Jon Norris (Creative Director of OnWired) used to work for Bronto, one of MailChimp’s best frienemies.  OnWired’s office is a mere 23 miles from Bronto headquarters, and we suspect Freddie will be transported there and held captive against his will.  The evidence just doesn’t quite seem to piece together as neatly as it should though, as indicated by this tweet posted Wednesday October 8:

@kenseals Thank you for your thorough investigation. Our plan to frame OnWired has gone better than we could have possibly imagined.

courtesy of @jasongraphix

This amber alert went out over the wire but turned up zero leads.  As you can imagine, this is all very disturbing to Freddie’s family here at MailChimp.  Our dream is to see him return home to Atlanta, and we’re holding on to the hope that he will.  If you have any information in this pressing matter, do not hesitate to call MC-TAO right away.  All leads are good leads, and we’re willing to do what it takes to get back our chimp. And to the captors, know this: We will hunt you down and seek sweet, sweet revenge.  This is not a threat, it’s a promise.