Those of us with fond childhood memories of spending time with word search puzzles will love this story.

In the first days of the government shutdown, it was unclear whether the National Weather Service was deemed an essential service.

Forecasters at hundreds of weather service offices faithfully showed up for their shifts but were uncertain if they would be paid.

One enterprising staffer in Anchorage, Alaska, embedded a secret message in a weather forecast that  hit the wires at 5 a.m. on October 4th.

It looked like a normal weather report to those just glancing.  But upon closer examination, the first letter of each line in the forecast was carefully chosen to relay a secret message to Congress, the president and the Amercan public.

What was that encrypted plea?  PLEASE PAY US.

Congratulations to the Anchorage weather service office for grabbing some headlines and making us chuckle in the midst of a serious governmental mess.  They’ve since been paid and may even be headhunted for their expert newsjacking skills.