April Fools’

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

So how many tricks did you get played on you today or how many did you play on your friends? I never do any good at April Fools’ Day jokes. I guess I don’t have much of a poker face. But one of the guys at church got one of our ladies tonight. He asked her what happened to her garage, that one wall was knocked down. She was getting worried and I was wondering why I hadn’t noticed that when I drove by her house, but then he said, “April Fool.” So he got us both.

In years past I’ve listened to radio stations that carried on elaborate hoaxes with fake news stories. Today we could have really done that here in Kentucky since we just hired Coach Calipari as the next UK coach. But this morning the radio stations could have announced anybody as coach and had fun with it. Of course, I told the people at the church that the joke would be on us fans if at the end of the day UK announced that all the news conferences today were elaborate April Fools’ jokes. Memphis would be happy if that turned out to be true, but UK fans would go into a spiral of depression for sure.

Anyway I checked out some famous April Fools’ jokes and most agree that the most well known and famous one was the report by the BBC in 1957 showing people harvesting spaghetti from trees and reporting that the dreaded spaghetti weevil had finally been eradicated. Another good one was Burger King’s 1998 ad about their new “left-handed” whoppers that were designed so the condiments would drip out the right side. Some customers ordered the new left-handed whoppers while others requested the old right-handed ones. Are we gullible or what?

It seems the BBC is always readier to make a joke on April Fools’ Day than the t.v. stations here. And we think the British are too serious. Of course NPR usually pulls some kind of news joke on April 1st. Last year it announced that in order to be sure the stimulus checks were spent instead of being put in the bank the government was sending out consumer products instead of checks. I’ll bet that got them a few excited calls.

I think April Fools’ jokes are fun as long as they aren’t mean. I enjoyed reading the BMW annual April 1st improvements like the “toot and calm” horn designed to calm other drivers and eliminate road rage. Or the SHEF (Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration) that synchonizes the car’s GPS system with home appliances so that a perfectly cooked hot meal would be waiting when you walk in the door. We wish! Last year they came up with BMW Tow Technology where your car had some sort of magnetic gizmo that hooked up with the car in front and then you just turn off the engine, sit back and let the other car tow you along. And then there was the elastic solutions on the windshields in 2004 that bounced off insects (IDS – Insect Deflector Screens). Sounds like some promising ideas, but all April Fools’ jokes.

Maybe the best thing about April Fools’ is that it gives us a chance to lighten up and not take ourselves so seriously. So think up something to smile about and get ready for spring.

Oh yeah, and I got a new dog today. His name is Oscar. Guess you’ll just have to figure out if that’s an April Fools’ joke or not.