LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Foolin'

I have never been fond of practical jokes and pranks. They always seemed designed to make someone feel uncomfortable. It's been my opinion that April Fool's Day jokes are for children only. Once you are too old to trick-or-treat, you're too old to play April Fool's jokes.

There are some exceptions. Some organizations have played April Fool jokes on the public with harmless and hilarious results. Here are my favorites:


The Taco Liberty Bell:







The 1990s brought the days of corporate sponsorship of stadiums and other venues. In 1996 the Taco Bell Corporation sent out press releases and advertisements that they had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the "Taco Liberty Bell." They would allow the bell to remain on display in Philadelphia half the time and would keep it at corporate headquarters the other half. Furious Americans began calling the park where the Liberty Bell is kept, as well as their Senators and Congressmen. Taco Bell immediately revealed that it was a practical joke.

The news even made it to the Presidential press conference that afternoon. Mike McCurry, then White House Press Secretary had a great one-liner for the press. He said that Ford Motors had purchased the Lincoln Memorial and it would be re-named the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.




Burger King played a great joke in 1998. The company took out a full page ad in USA Today. The ad described a new product, "The Left Handed Whopper" designed for left-handed people. The whopper was made by rotating all the ingredients 180 degrees for left-handed customers. Burger King announced the next day the advertisement was a hoax. But for several days, people came in requesting the Left-Handed Whopper. Others requested the old "Right-handed Whopper."







National Public Radio (NPR) is not above a good joke. In 2004, All Things Considered informed us the the US Postal Service was beginning a "portable zip code" policy. Since the FCC had recently allowed customers to keep their telephone numbers when they moved, the post office would allow customers to keep their old zip code numbers. The program stated that the portable zip codes would put Americans in the demographic, not just geographic landscape.









A scientific newsletter, New Mexicans for Science and Reason, published an article in the April edition (1998) that the great state of Alabama was changing the value of Pi. According to the article, the state legislature had returned the definition to the "biblical" value of 3.0 rather than 3.14159. The real purpose of the article was to parody the legislature for its position on the teaching of evolution. News of the article spread quickly and the Alabama legislature was inundated with phone calls.






It was in 1957 that the BBC News reported a bumper crop of spaghetti. According to the spot on the news show, Panorama, the maligned spaghetti weevil had been almost eliminated. The story was accompanied by pictures of peasants pulling huge strands of spaghetti off the heavily laden trees. Surprisingly, BBC was flooded with calls from people wanting to plant their own spaghetti trees! They finally developed a reply, "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
Especially today, don't believe everything you hear.

21 comments:

Dog_geek said...

Those are hilarious! I hadn't hear any of those before - I especially like the spaghetti prank - I might try to start my own spaghetti tree tonight! Actually, I would prefer a stromboli tree - any idea how to start one of those?

Kallen305 said...

LOL, I love them all. I don't remember any of them and now I wish that I had. Very creative of them.

Cheri said...

Playing jokes can be kind of an art form and these certainly are. We actually told a family member he won the lottery for an April Fool joke. Boy they got excited! As long as no one gets hurt, jokes can be fun.

KGMom said...

We had a local radio show host --Ron Drake--who loved to play practical jokes.
One April Fool's Day--he said a whale had been spotted swimming up the Susquehanna River--which is very wide and mostly very shallow. Plus Harrisburg is 100 miles up river from the Chesapeake!
People drove to see it, and lined the bridges and banks of the river trying to spot the whale!

troutbirder said...

I must say this post made me feel really old as I remember seeing the BBC spaghetti spoof on TV in 1957.

Cheryl said...

They are so funny......that is correct re the BBC and spaghetti...I remember my Mum and Dad laughing at that......it doesn't work by the way...lol

Fun post....made me smile.....

scienceguy288 said...

About the pi one: I recall my calculus teacher saying something that one of the state's state tests did not require pi to be written out to 3.14, only 3. I don't know if that is the same prank or what.

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Happy April Fools to you today. I guees we will have to watch the blogs for tricks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Cute-Cute-Cute.... I haven't heard ANY of these... Love the Taco Bell one. How creative!!!!! (Glad it wasn't true though. ha ha)

Have a great April Fools Day!!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Bird Girl said...

So funny! But hey - I eat the left handed whopper - and the left handed big mac - and left handed pizza...etc. I'm left handed ;-)
And that ain't no joke! haha

Jayne said...

How funny! I had not heard of any of these!

grammy said...

Fun to read this foolish info (o: I had already read the spaghetti story on another blog. I am like you, I don't really care for people playing a joke on me, so I don't do it either.

Cedar ... said...

kids came to school today saying they had heard on the radio that the space shuttle had to land in Burlington, VT because of weather in FL. Nope, didn't happen, April Fool,.. but it WAS on their fave radio station!

KB said...

I needed a laugh tonight, and you gave me one. Thanks!

A spaghetti tree! Maybe I can convince my husband to try to grow one!

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Very funny stuff!!! Thanks for sharing these today. :-)

Go Heels!!!

Shellmo said...

These are some good ones - I do remember the Taco bell one! Hilarious!
P.S. I did play a prank on my mom - I told her she was going to be a grandma in August! She was astounded until I told her - that's when I get my Bernese Mountain Dog puppy! LOL! She laughed too!

Ruth said...

I admire those who have the imagination to pull off an fun April Fool's joke. Canada uses the metric system and the switch from imperial to metric measure happened in the 1970s. One year a radio station reported we were changing to metric time...it seemed very believable for a few hours.

jeannette stgermain said...

I thought the BBC story was the best. Thanks for doing all that research:)

Jane said...

Oh, I love all of of these! I remember the left-handed Whopper as well!

J

George said...

I think I've heard of most of these before, but they are still good for a chuckle. Although the New Mexico article about Alabama changing the value of pi was a joke, the Indiana legislature really did vote (many years ago)on a proposal to change pi to 3. Fortunately it failed.

Endment said...

Just found this today - and I am laughing so hard tears are running down my cheeks
It is said that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine....
Thanks for a good dose - It should cure a lot of ills