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.