FORTUNE -- Back in December 2010, it was impossible to get away from reports that Google (GOOG) was in talks to acquire Groupon (GRPN) for $6 billion. But when the NY Times reached out to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason for comment, he said that he would agree to an interview "only if you want to talk about my other passion, building miniature dollhouses."
For some reason I took the bait, and let Mason know that I'd love to discuss miniature dollhouses. He quickly replied via email, asking for a list of questions. So I did minimal research, and sent some over. But he never replied.
I had forgotten all about this episode until Saturday, when a Groupon writer named Daniel Kibblesmith put up a blog post about how answering my dollhouse questions was "my favorite writing assignment I ever got from Andrew Mason." And the answers he posted are quite amusing. Here are two examples of my questions and "Mason's" replies:
How many miniature dollhouses do you own? Where do you store them? Are they kept on display? Are visitors allowed to touch?
A lot of the collection is still at my parents place since they're so precarious to move. Like most serious miniaturists, most of it stays in private climate-controlled storage, but I rotate my in-house exhibition seasonally, with the occasional holiday flourish. I just commissioned these amazing chroma-shifting fiber optic Christmas lights that are like the size of pin pricks. I recruited one of our development interns to try to synch them to "Carol of the Bells," so finger's crossed it'll be ready before New Years.
Will Groupon be offering a deal for the Chicago International miniatures convention this April? Are you going?
I'm not trying to slam anyone in the scene, but can we all agree it's gotten really commercial? Plus, if I have to watch that glorified whittler Marlene Wertz smugly accept another Minnie Award for Most Historically Accurate Colonial, I swear I'm going to whip a chifforobe at her temple.
Unfortunately, Kibblesmith doesn't know why Groupon never forwarded them on to me. Sounds like someone in legal didn't have a sense of humor…
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Groupon CEO saw it coming.
FORTUNE -- Andrew Mason was officially fired as CEO of Groupon (GRPN) last Thursday, but it didn't come as a surprise to the 31 year-old.
A source close to the situation says Mason "totally knew" that the board planned to replace him during its quarterly meeting, and that there had been a "continuing dialog" over his future role with the company.
Rumors that Mason would be axed began MOREDan Primack - Mar 4, 2013 12:33 PM ET
New Enterprise Associates has no celebrities on its staff. It stays under the radar - and lets its results do the talking.
FORTUNE -- Quick, name the largest venture capital firm in the world. If you didn't come up with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), you're not alone. Although it has over 100 employees in eight offices, big-name investments such as Groupon and Diapers.com, and a fantastic track record, NEA keeps a very MOREDan Primack - Nov 7, 2011 5:00 AM ET
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