That time I secretly rick-rolled a quarter million people

I love elaborate low-payoff jokes. Part of their charm is their way-too-high commitment to the joke. Like Ken Cheng satirizing critics of NFL kneeling, by actually disrespecting the flag… of every country in the world. It took weeks, interwoven with elaborate story lines of his life, both true and made up. The thread is a masterpiece. But I digress.

Rick Astley released Never Gonna Give You Up on this day, July 27th, in 1987. Last year was the 30th anniversary, so I celebrated! If you scroll backwards through my tweets during the months Rick Astley was topping the charts, the first word of each tweet sings the lyrics to Never Gonna Give You Up at you.

This was the most elaborate (and lowest-payoff!) rick-roll of my life. Maybe of all time? In the end, I was surprised how much fun these months of tweeting were, between the addition of a challenge (how am I going to act natural but start a tweet with “Commitment’s”?), and just laughing every time at the ridiculousness.

[Edit to explain more] For example, the song lyrics start “We’re no strangers to love…” so the most recent tweet starts with “We’re”, the next one starts with “no”, and so on.

“We’re”
“No”
“Strangers”
“To”
“Love”
(and so on)