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Not a description of a surreal prank, but rather an extremely embarrassing attempt at a joke by a Texaco executive at a meeting about a racial discrimination lawsuit the company was facing at the time. The meeting was being secretly recorded, and that comment and others were used as evidence to bring about a quick settlement in 1996 after a couple of years of unproductive legal wrangling. Despite quickly realizing that the jig was up and forking over a large bundle of cash, Texaco suffered a huge public relations backlash as this quote appeared in newspapers all over the country.

I found some more details at http://www.courttv.com/legaldocs/business/texaco/report.html. Here's the actual conversation snippet:

ULRICH: (Inaud.) ... I agree. This diversity thing. You know how black jelly beans agree ....

LUNDWALL: That's funny. All the black jelly beans seem to be glued to the bottom of the bag.

ULRICH: You can't have just we and them. You can't just have black jelly beans and other jelly beans. It doesn't work.

LUNDWALL: Yeah. But they're perpetuating the black jelly beans.

LUNDWALL is finance department manager Richard Lundwall, the guy who was doing the taping; he had taped the conversations in 1994, but only turned them over when he was "downsized" two years later, which is why we ended up with the most famous ugly comment being the one from the guy wearing the wire.

Lundwall and Texaco treasurer Robert Ulrich were later convicted of obstruction of justice for destroying evidence in the earlier case. That 1998 criminal case, US v. Lundwall, was cited in Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment as a recent example of how destruction of evidence is still a criminal act, even when the evidence is for a civil case.

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