Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fools, One Day Late

Hey all,

I can't believe it's April already.  Spring has sprung, but as I look outside my door, it's rainy and gloomy.  Three months of 2012 are already over.  Nine months still to do.  I'm always surprised when time goes by so fast.

April is one of my favorite months.  I love the spring.  The earth coming back to life after the long winter.  And as a kid, I loved April Fools Day.  We always played jokes on my Bumpa (grandfather) and each year it was our goal to surprise him completely.

I didn't do much this year.  Jonathon was at work and it's not a good idea to April Fool on a live production *grin*, so instead I went online to see what other people might have done.  I found some really great pranks and some not so smart ones.  So I thought I'd share some of what I found.  Check these out!! 

The Good

This one I loved.  Creative, well constructed and perfectly played.  This joke was played on a large radiology practice in Mesa, Ariz.:  

"We were going through some technology upgrades, so users in the company were expecting to see some changes. On April 1, I arrived at the office very early, and I printed up memos and placed them on the chairs of about 15 employees. I made sure to choose people who would handle it well.  

"The memo said: 'Congratulations! You've been chosen to pilot our new automated computer login tool. Your computer has been fitted with a microphone and speech-recognition software. You'll never have to remember your password again. To use the system, simply turn on your computer, press Control+Alt+Delete to get to your login screen, and then say your username slowly and clearly. Do not say your password! If for some reason you are not automatically logged in, try saying your name a bit louder. If this still doesn't work, say your username three times quickly to restart the system; you'll be logged on right away.'  

"As users trickled into the building around 8 a.m., the chorus of spoken (and soon shouted) usernames swelled. People finally figured out it was a prank about 40 minutes later. It was a masterpiece, if I do say so myself. I thought the office administrator was going to bust a gut from laughter." 

Another Good 

Some people will believe anything.  (I would have.)  

Burger King published a full page advertisement in the April 1st edition of 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."

Good #3
This one was amazing.  I missed it the first time around, but after watching the video I can see why some people might have bought the hoax.  

On 1 April 2008, the BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins. 

The Bad

This one was just wrong.  I'd have sued too!

A manager at a Hooters restaurant in Panama City, Florida, celebrated April Fools’ Day by offering a new “Toyota” to the server who sold the most beer. Jodee Berry, the winning waitress, was blindfolded, led to the parking lot and presented with a “toy Yoda”—a plastic Yoda doll from the Star Wars movie. After the stunt, Berry sued Hooters’ parent company, Gulf Coast Wings, alleging breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. The case settled for an undisclosed amount, but Berry’s lawyer reported it was more than enough for her to walk into any car dealership and “pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants.”
Another Bad

I wanted to smack the PTBs when I heard about this one.  Some people are just so stupid...

A manager at financial firm that was planning to trim staff late in the first quarter of the year shared this tale of woe: 

"Things kept delaying the layoff process and the exits were finally planned for March 31. Then, one more problem arose and we needed to move the releases to -- you guessed it -- April 1. I begged the senior managers to push it to April 2, but they would not relent. 

"I wound up doing an exit interview on April 1 with a good friend, someone I ate lunch with two or three times a week. He was convinced it was a joke even after I took his keys and employee ID. As he left my office he kept stopping, looking back, waiting for me to say 'April Fools!' But I never did. I can still see his face as he stood in the doorway to my office. It was one of the most difficult exit interviews I ever had to conduct." 

The Final Bad

Did I say the last people were stupid?  I was wrong...they were insensitive.  THIS guy was stupid...

Randy Wood pranked his ex-wife in 2004 by asking her to come over so he could show her something.
When she arrived at his house, Woods appeared to be hanging from a tree in his front yard (he was actually being held by a safety harness).

His unknowing ex-wife dialed 911 before he could reveal the gag. Wood was fined $1,000 and jailed for a year.

 The  Funny

I laughed when I read this one.  I thought it was great!  Smart thinking all around!!!

Each year around this time, workers at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minn., endure a flood of calls from pranksters looking to speak with Al E. Gator, Billy Goat and other assorted fictitious folks who just happen to have animal-themed names.  Last year, the park handled 300 such calls in one day, so this year zoo officials decided to add four phone lines to handle the increased call volume it's anticipating this April Fools' Day.

Rather than scolding pranksters for tying up phone lines (and employees' precious time), this April Fools' the zoo staff will play along. For example, anyone calling to speak with "Mr. Lion" will be transferred to the animal's own line, answered with a lively roar followed by some promotional info about the zoo.

"We get inundated every April Fools' Day," zoo spokesman Matt Reinartz said . "But if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

The Funnier

This one just cracked me up.  Picture it as you read.  It's hysterical...

In 1962, Swedish TV, the state-run television station, was still broadcasting only in black and white. Then, on April 1, the station brought in a "technical expert" to describe a fascinating way to make television suddenly appear in color — no hardware upgrade needed. The expert told viewers to take an old nylon stocking and put it over the TV set, although they might have to move their heads very carefully back and forth in order to align the color spectrum. Needless to say, the technical technique didn't work too well, and lots of families looked pretty darn silly giving it a try. Swedish TV began actually broadcasting in color four years later.

 The Funniest

This one made me snicker.  It was on several of the BEST of the BEST sites about April Fool Jokes and I had to include it here.

If the idea of a reputable newspaper like the The Guardian pulling their legs was too much for people in 1977, twenty years earlier the thought that the BBC – in the authoritative persona of Panorama presenter Richard Dimbleby – would tell people fibs must have seemed like communist crazy talk. Which probably explains why, when Panorama ran a short segment about how Swiss people harvested spaghetti from trees in 1957, hundreds of people wrote back asking how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. In their defense, it's worth bearing in mind that a) spaghetti was comparatively alien to most British kitchens in 1957, and b) people are incredibly stupid. 

Well, there you have it.  Some of the best and the worst.  I hope your April's Fool Day was a good one.  I'll be back on Wednesday with something romantic!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

I think I like the zoo one the best! lol I can just hear the other end of the phone call. "They put us through to the lion...what do we do now?" lol

Ray said...

I like the one about the Toyota/Toy Yoda. The women won in the end so it wasn't so bad except for the lawyer's cut.


CJ England said...

I know, Phylis. I cracked up when I heard it. Some kid probably dropped the phone and ran screaming. LOL

CJ England said...

I was so upset for her, Ray. That wasn't a funny joke. It was a nasty cheap thing for them to do and like you I'm jazzed she won in the end.