Invite a horse called Eddie to your next Zoom conference

If you’re working from home and your Zoom meetings have already become a little dull covering the same ground over and over, then how about adding a special guest to your next conference call? A guest such as Mambo the donkey. Or Eddie the horse. Ducks and chickens are also available.

No, we’re not suggesting you conduct some kind of zoombombing stunt to liven things up. Rather, it’s a wacky idea from Francie and Mark Dunlap of North Carolina-based Peace N Peas Web Solutions. They also run a farm, which is where Mambo and Eddie come in.

Mambo participating in a Zoom meeting. Peace N Peas

For $50, the animal of your choice will join one of your Zoom meetings for a full 10 minutes. Admittedly, your new four-legged friend is unlikely to do much beyond goofing around, but, well, there’s always one.

On the other hand, if you’re lucky, they could turn out to be the most useful contributor in the entire team, perhaps propelling a brainstorming session into new directions, or somehow suggesting a solution to a seemingly impossible problem.

Francie told local media that, if you’re feeling a little mischievous, the animal’s display name can be changed to that of “the colleague who never logs on, or the co-worker who asks too many questions, or the boss who organized the meeting in the first place.”

Since launching the service on Saturday, Francie said she’s already had a number of inquiries from interested companies and organizations. And not everyone wants to bring Mambo or Eddie into a meeting simply for a laugh, as a number of teachers have been keen for the farm animals to join as guests during online lessons with children.

The website has an online booking form, and payments can be made via credit card or PayPal. We’ve reached out to Francie to find out if the animals get a cut, and we will update this piece when we hear back.

With so many people currently working from home, lots of new services are springing up to help people get through the extra time spent indoors. Take this offbeat site, which is aimed at folks missing the atmosphere of their usual workplace. It lets you select different office noises — like the gentle hum of the photocopier or the bubbling of the water cooler — and places them alongside the sound of general office chatter to help transport you back into the bosom of your work buddies.

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