A Message from the President: April, 2014

Ah, April; when playful thoughts are entertained by even the seemingly most staid. I have never been much for pranks, but I do enjoy a good hoax.

Here are some of the better from Museum of Hoaxes (dot Com).

1957 — The British news Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the “virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.” The audience heard details of the spaghetti crop as they watched footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. Hundreds of pasta lovers phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree; the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

1996 — A full page ad appeared in six major American newspapers announcing that Taco Bell had purchased the Liberty Bell. Subsequent Press Releases explained that the Liberty Bell would divide its time between Philadelphia and the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine.

1977 —  A British newspaper published a seven-page “special report” about San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands. A series of articles described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Most readers didn’t catch on that it was full of typographical twists, since details about the island (such as its name) alluded to printer’s terminology.

1977sanserriffemapA

1998 — Burger King announced the introduction of the Left-Handed Whopper designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. The new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper but had all condiments rotated 180 degrees; many wanted the original right hand version.

1983 — Even the origin was fair game for a hoax. The Associated Press reported that the mystery of April Fool’s Day had finally been solved. A history professor had discovered that the celebration had begun during the Roman Empire when a court jester had boasted that the fools and jesters could rule the kingdom better. So the Emperor set aside one day of the year that a fool would rule the kingdom. News media throughout the country reprinted the Associated Press story. But what the interviewing AP reporter hadn’t realized was that the professor was lying. The university later apologized for the joke, and many papers published corrections.

And some peeps think that Whoopee Cushions are Da Bomb.

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