Don't be a fool

Published April 1, 2009

I am not a fan of April Fool’s day, particularly now that things on the internet are so hard to believe anyway. You have to take everything with a pinch of salt, and so these days the jokes are either really obvious, or so obscure that I don’t get them anyway.

I remember one joke from several years ago, a good one, in fact. The local newspaper issued a fake cover on top of the real one that suggested the valley was going to be flooded to make a reservoir for some nearby, and larger, towns. Ah, that kept us going for hours. Those were the days.

Thing is, where did April Fool’s come from? No one really knows. Wikipedia (yes, that ever so factual source) suggests that it came about because of one calendar changing to another, and those still insisting on using the old calendar were ridiculed. I’m not entirely sure how that turned into pranks, or why tricking someone after midday is wrong, but that’s history for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against a good April Fool’s stunt. This list of the top 100 tricks ever makes for a good read. My favourite is this one, #8:

1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”

Ha. Really? I love it. If you’ve found or heard of any good ones today, or if you are brave enough to admit being fooled, please let me know!

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