Saturday Surprise — April Fool’s! (Revisited)

Apologies, for this is a redux from a post I did on April Fool’s Day two years ago, but when I re-read it yesterday, I had forgotten much of it and it made me laugh all over again, so I’m hoping that will be the case for you, too!  Happy April Fool’s Day!!!


I gave some thought to trying to pull an April Fool’s joke on you guys by telling you that this would be the last post ever on Filosofa’s Word, but … I figured some would see the title or read the first sentence and say, “Whew, it’s a good thing, for that old hag never had anything interesting to say anyway.”  And then my feelings would be hurt.  Not to mention that I’ve never been any good at pulling April Fool’s jokes.  The best one I tried was hiding my daughter’s car after she went to bed one March 31st night.  But, after an hour or two, I feared she might wake up, think it had been stolen, and call the cops (I only moved it one street over), so I moved it back before going to bed.  My girls … and anyone who knows me … can tell when I’m “up to something”, for my face gives me away every time.  So … instead of pulling a prank on you guys, I’m going to share some of the best April Fool’s pranks by others in years past.

Nearly every site I visited had this one …

On April 1, 1957, the BBC TV show “Panorama” ran a segment about the Swiss spaghetti harvest, enjoying a “bumper year” thanks to mild weather and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil. Many credulous Britons were taken in, and why not? The story was on television – then a relatively new invention – and Auntie Beeb would never lie, would it?

It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” Even the director-general of the BBC later admitted that after seeing the show he checked in an encyclopedia to find out if that was how spaghetti actually grew (but the encyclopedia had no information on the topic). The broadcast remains, by far, the most popular and widely acclaimed April Fool’s Day hoax ever, making it an easy pick for the #1 April Fools’ hoax of all time on the Museum of Hoaxes website – a fine source for all things foolish.

More recently, in 2015, Cottonelle tweeted that it was introducing left-handed toilet paper for all those southpaws out there.

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Few people may have been taken in by Cottonelle, but that wasn’t the case in 1973, when Johnny Carson cracked a joke about a toilet paper shortage. Worried Americans immediately stocked up. Well, you can never be too sure.

In this now-classic 1996 prank, Taco Bell took out newspaper ads saying it had bought the Liberty Bell “in an effort to help the national debt.” Even some senators were taken in, and the National Park Service even held a press conference to deny the news. At noon, the fast-food chain admitted the joke, along with donating $50,000 for the bell’s care. The value of the joke, of course, was priceless.

In 1994, PC Magazine ran a column about a bill making its way through Congress that would prohibit the use of the Internet while intoxicated. Despite the name of the contact person, Lirpa Sloof (“her name spelled backward says it all,” the column concluded), many people took the story seriously.

In retrospect, however, perhaps the bill – fake or not – wasn’t such a bad idea.

Here are some of the best April Fool’s pranks from around the globe …

France: According to Le Parisien, in 1986, the Eiffel Tower was going to be dismantled and rebuilt inside the new Euro Disney park.

Denmark: In 1965, a Copenhagen newspaper reported that Parliament had passed a law that all dogs be painted white to improve road safety because they could then be seen clearly at night.

Norway: In 1987, after reading that the government was planning to distribute 10,000 litres of wine confiscated from smugglers, hundreds of citizens turned up carrying empty bottles and buckets.

China: Claiming that it would reduce the need for foreign experts, the China Youth Daily joked in 1993 that the government had decided to exempt PhDs from the nation’s one-child-per-family policy. After foreign press picked up the hoax, the government condemned April Fools’ Day as a Western tradition.

Great Britain: In 1980, those serial pranksters at the BBC announced that Big Ben, London’s historic clock tower, would undergo a face-lift and become digital to keep up with the times. This one didn’t go over so big, as enraged callers flooded the station with complaints.

Canada: In 2008, WestJet airlines advertised its overhead cabin bins as “among the most spacious of any airline” and said it would charge passengers an extra $12 to use these “sleeper cabins.”

Taiwan: In 2009, the Taipei Times claimed that “Taiwan-China relations were dealt a severe setback yesterday when it was found that the Taipei Zoo’s pandas are not what they seem.” The paper reported that the pandas, a gift from the Chinese government, were brown forest bears dyed to resemble pandas. Among the complaints sent to the paper was one from the zoo’s director.

Germany: In 2009, BMW ran an ad promoting its new “magnetic tow technology.” The invention enabled drivers to turn off their engine and get a “free ride” by locking onto the car ahead via a magnetic beam.

Perhaps the most fun part of April Fool’s pranks are that somebody, somewhere, will fall for almost anything!

And if you need some ideas for your own pranks, Bored Panda has a few

Insect Lamps

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Attach An Airhorn To Their Seat

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Delight Their Taste Buds With Caramel Onions

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Prank At Walmart

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Now, use your imagination and have a bit of fun with the day … just keep it fun, not mean.  Unless you’re pranking someone who deserves mean … then it’s okay to be mean.

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34 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — April Fool’s! (Revisited)

  1. A guy I used to work with and still keep in touch with via his Facebook posted put one up yesterday with the headline:
    “Brexiter Day comes round faster and faster each year. Happy Brexit Day!”
    ‘Morning Brexiters. Enjoy your day.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you! During Trump’s ‘presidency’ I went to bed every night hoping to wake in the morning and find it was all a bad dream. Sigh. Ah well, have a happy day anyway, dear friend!

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        • Yeah, you’re in a tough place for that … your Mom likely wouldn’t have gotten it, then you’d have felt bad. I was on the receiving end of one today, though, and not from the girls. I had an email from an ecard company I use frequently telling me that now I could send ‘scented ecards’ simply by spraying perfume into the microphone of my phone or computer while composing the card. I fell for it and was telling the girls that I just didn’t understand how that would work, when they both burst out laughing and said, “Grannie, what’s today’s date? You’ve been had!!!” 🙄

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  3. Jill, too funny. I remember the popular Sports Illustrated magazine did an April Fool’s Day spoof about this recently discovered baseball pitcher who had an unusual motion that allowed him to throw the baseball 168 miles per hour. It should be noted the fastest major league pitcher had just been clocked at 100 miles per hour. They never said April Fools. Keith

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    • I bet a lot of people fell for it, too! As … I used to think it was W.C. Fields, but I believe it was actually P.T. Barnum … said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” I did see the story about the baseball traveling at 168 mph on the History Channel’s website! Happy April Fool’s Day!

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    • One of us gotta check our facts, Keith. Memory tells me at age 23 Jason Verlander threw 101 mph vs. the Yankees in the 2006 postseason. The internet tells me the fastest pitch ever thrown was by Nolan Ryan at 108.1 mph, in 1974.

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  5. Hold up: #45 was indicted yesterday… Oh, phew, thank goodness, the US clock is behind. For a minute there, I had thought they were ahead of the times (what a foolish idea).

    Thanks for the laughs, Jill!

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