Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April Fool

When we were little, my sister and my cousin and I used to play April Fool tricks on each other that consisted of shouting things like "You have pen on your face!! No you don't!! April Fool!" ad infinitum. This line was dispensed at lightning speed, without giving the other person time to even wonder whether there was pen on their face, never mind to fall for it and check it.

This is about the level of April Fool that I can be bothered with. 9 year-olds being silly. I quite like a well-exectuted joke on telly as well, my personal favourite being that one about the spaghetti plants that the BBC (I think) did many years ago. I also have fond recollections of 'That's Life!'s' Lirpaloof - an animal resembling (if I recall correctly) a hippo, which they claimed had moved into some zoo or something.

However, we now seem to have reached the stage of evolutionary development which requires every publication everywhere to run an April Fool story every year, and while some attempts are admirable, mostly they are dire. For your convenience, I supply a round-up of those I have found so far. Do feel free to add to this list, or to correct me if I'm wrong.

1. The Guardian claims it is abandoning paper and moving to Twitter format. They are also putting their entire archive into Twitter format, including such gems as "JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?". I can't help feeling that this could have been funnier, but the most impressive thing about it is that a chap called swanstep actually claims to have fallen for it.

2. The Belfast Telegraph reports that the Westlink is to be made one-way during rush hour. I'm fairly sure they did some variation of this last year; it is also reminiscent of the year the Newtownards Chronicle said that the one-way system in Ards was to be abolished. Thankfully a chap called Phil has already expressed doubts about it in the comments ("April Fool...?") - on the ball there Phil.

3. The BBC is harder to call. CBBC has 'Kitten's Got Talent', which cannot possibly be real, but will no doubt lead to lots of small children turning up at Broadcasting House with cat baskets and being turned away disappointed, and then parents trying to sue, and then the BBC deciding it's actually not a bad idea after all and running with the idea.
Other than that, there are several candidates for The Joke, and I'm honestly not sure. I suspect that they are taking us for fools, however, when they show the Presidential Limo being turned around in Downing Street and the caption says officials 'struggled' to execute a three-point turn. That is not struggling to do a three-point turn. They want struggling to execute a three-point turn, they should watch me drive some time.

Edit at 1.45pm: I forgot to mention an email which was in my inbox this morning, which is presumably an April Fool, and an excellently dire example. There's some company called Laptops Direct who keep emailing me; no idea how I ended up on their mailing list, except that maybe they were the people I bought my laptop from, or something. Anyway, today's email was entitled 'Funerals from Laptops Direct'. On going into the email, there was a picture of a hearse with 'Laptops Direct' painted (well, photoshopped) on the windows. And then their standard email about laptop offers.

A poor attempt, and badly executed.

10 comments:

jools said...

BBC harder to spot???
The new shark whale spotted? Front page all morning ...
I must say I am shocked at a an individual with so much intelligence as whynotsmile missing that one ...
I shall enjoy seeing you and providing a little mocking>

whynotsmile said...

Huh? There's nothing on the BBC front page about a shark whale... Maybe I've tuned in too late - it's kinda full of Obama stuff at the mo!

Wesley Johnston said...

I too have been looking for the BBC story. Didn't see anything about a shark whale though. (??)

I wondered if it was this one:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7975260.stm

whynotsmile said...

Yeah, I saw the one about the chicks as well and thought that might be it. Although, it wasn't published till 10, which made me think it's not The One.

jools said...

ok ok ... by the time I wrote that it was gone!

it was very well done - stephen fry n'all ...

anyway - in the confusion
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7976288.stm will help sort out the duds!

Ok OK Ok .. found it - this short movie was on the front page most of the morning ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/

:o)

enjoy.

bresker said...

There's a road in Melbourne with three lanes. One lane in the middle changes direction between morning & evening rush hour. So it's not such a daft idea.

whynotsmile said...

Yeah, quite a few places have contra-flow toads. It's not that mad an idea at all - although they were saying it was all going to be one-way.

But I'm sure they've done variations of the story before.

Wesley Johnston said...

bresker - we don't have to go all the way to Australia to find roads like that. The Aston Expressway in England has the same arrangement. But neither of these roads go in ONLY one direction - which is what is proposed in this April Fool. Secondly, both the Australian example and the Aston Expressway are designed with either no central barrier, or a moveable one. The M1/Westlink not only has a central barrier, but also pillars and all sorts of things in the middle. Finally, how could you terminate the 6 lane section? You couldn't have the 6 lanes flowing onto the M1 because you'd have insane merging jams as 6 lanes try to merge into 3. Fourthly, the story assumes that Rush Hour traffic on the Westink is northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening. But the Westlink connects north and south Belfast, so there is equal amounts of traffic going in the opposite direction.

So, I'd say this would be a patently ridiculous proposal, and quite, quite daft.

bresker said...

I didn't really think things through, did I?

whynotsmile said...

Bresker, you will never out-think The Wes when it comes to matters road-related. Do not be disheartened.