No kidding!

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Everyone likes a good April Fools’ joke, right? Well, here’s one that likely will give you a chuckle:

Erickson Retirement Communities, which publishes a weekly corporate e-newsletter for its employees, offered a “Special Report” today.

The story was entitled “Erickson partners with NASA to create retiree space program.” It said that Erickson has partnered with NASA to allow Erickson residents to “attend space camp, moonwalk and orbit Mars for months at a time.”

The report noted that residents are automatically enrolled and their monthly service package will cover the costs. To prepare residents for orbit, the story went on, wellness centers will offer weightlessness training classes and restaurants will provide dehydrated foods.

Pretty amazing, right? When staff clicked on a Web site link accompanying the story they were greeted with an “April Fools’ Day!” message from the newsletter staff.

The prank apparently was a hit. About 30 employees immediately sent e-mail messages to editor Ashley Daniels, who thought up the gag, “to express their delight and ‘suspended belief,’” noted Mel Tansill, senior director of public affairs for the company.

No laughing matter

But seriously, folks, there is certainly something to be said for a company that can provide some comic relief to its employees.

For those not familiar with Erickson, the retirement community giant, based in Baltimore County, MD, currently has 18 full-service retirement campuses. The communities are home to more than 21,000 people and employ more than 12,000.

Fortune Magazine this year named Erickson among the nation's 100 “Best Companies to Work For.”

Providing a good working environment where employees like to come everyday? Now, that’s no joke.

*If you have a good April Fools’ story, please share! After all, who couldn't use a good laugh?

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.