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Who are the real April fools?

Posted by putsimply on 2nd April 2009

April Fools. Someone had to mention it, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be me.

A poor show this year. Is the media getting too afraid of litigation to pull genuine stunts? The kind that freak people out and make them feel properly stupid? You know; good ones? With the April Fools stories, and the G20 summit happening, it seems like the day was simply used as an opportunity to bury bad news.

Most of the hoax stories we saw were too immediately unbelievable to work. For example:

The Guardian declared it will publish only in 140-character Twitter form from now on. A good swipe at the perceived over-popularity of this simple program, but hardly likely. How would they fit in the review section? Mind you, they could probably reduce the Observer Magazine to this size and no-one would care.

The Top Gear staff declared that, from now on, they will only be covering stories on bicycles, in keeping with the new shift towards environmentally-friendly vehicles. Self indulgent.

Qualcomm claimed it had built base-stations and Wi-Fi routers into hybrid animals. Actually I quite liked this one. I suspected this was a mild homage to manbearpig. He’s half man, half bear, and half pig.

Whatever happened to spaghetti trees, Nixon for President in 1992, or the Left Handed Whopper Burger? Or my particular favourite, the Swedish ‘Instant Colour Television‘ hoax from 1962. Just pull a stocking over your black and white TV for instant colour. This fooled a lot of people despite the fact that a) it was unbelievably stupid, and b) Sweden only transmitted in black and white at the time.

Because we spoil you, and because we don’t give you enough gratuitous links, you can see my favourites here and here.

By the way, just to show the awesome intellectual calibre of the EML staff, the only story that fooled us was real. Who’re the real April fools?