Archive for the 'Humor' Category

The Biggest April Fool’s Jokes of Our Time

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

By now you’ve seen the Google April Fool’s hoax and perhaps someone’s already left plastic dog poop on your front steps. How could I possibly compete? By revisiting some of the most outrageous April Fool’s jokes of our time:

The Left-Handed Whopper
In 1998 Burger King published a full-page advertisement in 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.

The Body of Nessie Found
On March 31 1972, a team of zoologists from Yorkshire’s Flamingo Park Zoo, who were at Loch Ness searching for proof of Nessie’s existence, found a mysterious carcass floating in the Loch. Initial reports claimed it weighed a ton and a half and was 15 ½ feet long. The zoologists placed the body in a van and began to transport it back to the zoo. However, the police chased down their truck and stopped it under a 1933 act of Parliament prohibiting the removal of “unidentified creatures” from Loch Ness. The body was then taken to nearby Dunfermline for examination. The discovery of the carcass received worldwide media attention. The British press dubbed it “Son of Nessie.” But upon examination, Edinburgh scientists identified the creature as a bull elephant seal from the South Atlantic. The next day John Shields, Flamingo Park’s education officer, confessed he had been responsible for the body. The bull elephant seal had died the week before at Dudley Zoo. He had shaved off its whiskers, padded its cheeks with stones, and kept it frozen for a week, before dumping it in the Loch and then phoning in a tip to make sure his colleagues found it. He had meant to play an April Fool’s prank on his colleagues, but admitted the joke got out of hand when the police chased down their van.

Dogs To Be Painted White
Politiken, a Copenhagen newspaper, reported in 1965 that the Danish parliament had passed a new law requiring all dogs to be painted white. The purpose of this, it explained, was to increase road safety by allowing dogs to be seen more easily at night.

Internet Spring Cleaning
In 1997 an email message spread throughout the world announcing that the Internet would be shut down for cleaning for 24 hours from March 31 until April 2. This cleaning was said to be necessary to clear out the “electronic flotsam and jetsam” that had accumulated in the network. During this period, users were warned to disconnect all devices from the Internet. This joke was an updated version of an old joke that used to be told about the phone system. For many years, gullible phone customers had been warned that the phone systems would be cleaned on April Fool’s Day. They were cautioned to place plastic bags over the ends of the phone to catch the dust that might be blown out of the phone lines during this period.

Providence Closes for the Day
Carolyn Fox, a disc jockey for WHJY in Providence, Rhode Island, announced in 1986 that the Providence Labor Action Relations Board Committee had decided to close the city for the day. She gave out a number for listeners to call for more information. The number was that of a rival station, WPRO-AM. Reportedly hundreds of people called WPRO, as well as City Hall and the police.

American Place Names Desperately Need Updating

Monday, August 24th, 2009

As this country was developed, very colorful place names were created for streets and towns, for instance, Oak Grove, Forest Hills, Chestnut Farms, Indian Creek, Springfield, Maple and Elm. Quaint, aren’t they? Well, I realized today on the Boston subway to work (which runs between Forest Hills and Oak Grove) that American place names are thoroughly outdated. Here’s why: the trees, forests and farms have given way to all sorts of suburbia, exurbia and generally awful changes in the landscape. Here are a few suggestions on how to update our place names:

Oak Grove = Incinerator Way

Forest Hills = Large Electric Pylon Avenue

Acorn Avenue = Putrid Smell Parkway

Sylvan Street = Canada Goose Relief Street

Red Creek = Gravelly, Nondescript Dead End

Springfield = Suburban Sprawl Terrace

Feel free to add your own place names in the comments.

BloggingBoomers Carnival #117

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Welcome to BloggingBoomers Carnival #117, the longest-running baby boomer carnival in the entire blogosphere. It’s OK to genuflect. Now, let’s get started:

Boomers and others are getting ripped off by the billing methods of cell phone companies. tells you what to do.

Some say 40 is the new 50, but that’s not true for online retailers who cling to the youth market. Dina shares what to do when The Empress Has No Clothes at This Marriage Thing.

Even if you have a “bricks & mortar” business with an entirely local customer base, you can use the Internet to increase your chances of being found. Andrea J. Stenberg tells you how with her post Search Engine Optimization: Increase Your Chance of Getting Found Locally.

What’s the single most important thing people can do to protect their brains and guard their memory? Head over to Contemporary Retirement to find out. (You might be surprised!)

Are dolphins really as smart as people? Barbara Weibel at Hole In The Donut Travels had an opportunity to find out when she visited the Dolphin Research Center at Grassy Key in the Florida Keys, where she shook hands with a dolphin.

The current recession, which is pressuring companies to cut labor costs, could intensify by pushing companies to ditch expensive permanent employees in favor of cheaper temporary or part-time workers. With many baby boomers considering a “phased retirement,” part-time or temporary work is an opportunity that allows you to work when and where you want, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the best years of your life away from the office. Read more at So Baby Boomer.

For those who have discovered that happiness does not come from ambition or acquisition, but is found in those moments when you are concerned with neither, Jamie Jensen’s Road Trip USA is the perfect reference work. A good road trip extracts you from the numbness of everyday life, reigniting your sensitivity to the world around you. LifeTwo recently chatted with author Jensen about his book Road Trip USA and about how a good road trip may be just the stimulus America needs.

How are women’s friendships with other women important to quality of life and longevity? A few female researchers have been studying just that. Check out this new research with the Midlife Crisis Queen.

Want to update your look  with a new pair of earrings? Not sure what’s in, or what style of earrings will best suit your face shape? Then check out Fabulous after 40 to see what’s hot for boomer fashionistas.

A little bit of LA culture seeps through the economic cloud and Janet Wendy at Gen Plus rediscovers a bit of the silver lining.

Cynthia Samuels and Don’t Gel Too Soon considers the parallels between the lives of Sonia Sotomayor and the man who nominated her, President Obama.

Bad Paintings of Barack Obama

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

This is a hoot! Check out Bad Paintings of Barack Obama. A hat tip to Beancounters.

Biking is Getting More Popular Here

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

With soaring gas prices, lots of people are ditching their cars for cheaper transportation, like bicycles. I am thrilled to see this development. Boston, despite all of its colleges and young people, has never been a great city for bike riders, and I like to bike. We have biking events like Critical Mass and we have some bike commuters, but the city is only beginning to take biking seriously. Mayor Thomas Menino has started to promote bike riding and safety in the city. He’s even appointed a ‘biking czar’ to direct the efforts to make Boston a better biking city.

I know some lifelong bike commuters here who are now in their 40s and 50s. But today, lots of older people who have not been on a bike since childhood are buying bikes and riding them. Enterprising biking organizations have begun to offer lessons to help new riders get up to speed. Some workplaces are offering bike racks and a place to shower. Here is a guide for new bike riders and here are some tips for bicycling in traffic. Here is an extensive online Bicycling Street Smarts tutorial.

The Fine Art of Hating Your Job

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

was perfected today over at Cleaning Las Vegas, a blog written by the manager of a dry-cleaning establishment in Las Vegas.

Read this brief yet brilliant essay.

Watch Me Goof Off

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

fennel.jpgBear with me here. It’s summer. I’m goofing off.

Here is a list of things I don’t understand:

  • Christmas jewelry (why buy it? You can wear it for only about 10 days a year)
  • Candlepin bowling (it’s a dumb form of bowling that we have here in Boston; it’s impossible to get a strike)
  • Fennel (if I wanted something licorice-flavored I would eat a piece of candy)

What is it that YOU don’t understand?

I’m Special. I Got an Award Today

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

thinkingblogger.jpgA fellow Boston blogger — Suldog-O-Rama — bestowed The Thinking Blogger Award upon me today. It’s my first award ever in the blogosphere. Sully wrote some really nice comments about The Boomer Chronicles. I’m no. 3 on the list (hey, Sully, what’s with that?), so go ahead and check out what he said.

Now, my job is to pass the award along to five other bloggers. Here goes:

Ample Sanity
Ample Sanity is a compendium of unusual, odd, quirky links mixed with bits of philosophy from a very smart blogger.

Cleaning Las Vegas
This blog is too weird. The blogger works at a dry cleaning establishment in Las Vegas and wonders about life via brief interactions over soiled shirts.

Flight Level 390

Even if you don’t care about planes or aviation, this commercial airline pilot writes one of the best blogs around. Sure, there’s technical information here, but reveries on life, too.

Ethel’s Law

Written from the viewpoint of a fictitious fifth-grader and budding feminist, Ethel Spiliotes gives you pungent commentary on the day’s issues.

Time Goes By
This former broadcast journalist writes an extremely incisive blog about what it’s like to grow older.

If you’re one of the five named above, here are the rules:
1. If, and only if, you got tagged, write a post with links to 5 bloggers that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the award.
3. Optional: Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post that you wrote.

Ozzie, The Self-Walking Dog, Part Deux

Monday, March 19th, 2007

A while back, I told you about Ozzie, a dog who knows how to walk himself. I encountered him this weekend in the park near his house in Jamaica Plain and snapped a photo to prove to all the doubters out there that he exists and really does walk himself.

Here he is leaving the park.


And here is the sign he ignored on his way into the park.


Send a Greeting Card to a Traumatized Person

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Hallmark has introduced a new line of greeting cards that address some pretty hot-button stuff like depression, cancer diagnoses, miscarriage, caring for an aging parent, and traumatic loss, such as someone dying in an accident or homicide. When I was a kid I remember seeing an actual greeting card that said Happy Birthday to a Shut-in. Yuk. I just can’t help thinking that maybe we ought to be able to pen a personal note on fraught occasions like these. But my philosophy is, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, so I am going to try my hand at a few:

Cheer Up! It Was Only One Limb

Here’s to You on Your Diagnosis of Bulimia

It Takes Just 7 Muscles to Smile. Shake That Depression

Why Be Glum When You Still Have Most of Your Health?

How did I do? Got any ideas of your own?