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Funny April Fools press prank
Old 04-01-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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Funny April Fools press prank

When I was living in Caracas the local english language paper – the Daily Journal, printed what everyone knew to be an April Fools joke. They ran a front page story that construction crews doing sidewalk and water main repair had discovered underneath a sidewalk in a central part of the city an entire city more than 1000 years old – well preserved, intact, etc. The most important archeological find anywhere ever. It was hilarious, and obviously a prank. (Caracas was mostly a sugar cane plantation 100 years ago)

Not to the chairman of the archeology dept at the main university. He assembled a team of professors, students, local politicians and press that very morning and went over to take control of the site during the lunch break. Held his first press conference before actually visiting the site.

Real funny. Of course, he was embarrassed to no end. Local press had a field day with the guy. He demanded the police arrest the publisher, the editor, reporter (fictitious name). More ammo for the press. He finally gave up – or shut up – and the thing blew over. Always comes to mind this time of year.

Of course, after that the DJ was a bit more cautious with their pranks...
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:06 PM   #2
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So funny, MichaelB--it sounds so real on first reading, too.

Here is a media April Fool's hoax our newspaper reminds us of every year (along with the Left-Handed Whopper from BurgerKing in 1998), from the BBC in 1957, about the wonderful Swiss spaghetti harvest that year:

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
When I was living in Caracas the local english language paper – the Daily Journal, printed what everyone knew to be an April Fools joke. They ran a front page story that construction crews doing sidewalk and water main repair had discovered underneath a sidewalk in a central part of the city an entire city more than 1000 years old – well preserved, intact, etc. The most important archeological find anywhere ever. It was hilarious, and obviously a prank. (Caracas was mostly a sugar cane plantation 100 years ago)

Not to the chairman of the archeology dept at the main university. He assembled a team of professors, students, local politicians and press that very morning and went over to take control of the site during the lunch break. Held his first press conference before actually visiting the site.

Real funny. Of course, he was embarrassed to no end. Local press had a field day with the guy. He demanded the police arrest the publisher, the editor, reporter (fictitious name). More ammo for the press. He finally gave up – or shut up – and the thing blew over. Always comes to mind this time of year.

Of course, after that the DJ was a bit more cautious with their pranks...
Something similar in the Kerrville TX paper. They claimed the remains of a ancient giant turtle had been found under the main street construction. The dimensions given were such that we knew it wasn't real because it would have been larger than a blue whale which is the largest animal ever.

The paper didn't say at the end that it was an April Fool's joke. Our in-laws were completely taken in and excitedly told us all about it. With a few minutes of web-surfing we found no mention and were very suspicious and then noticed the date. We told our in-laws that it was an April Fool's joke.

They were really, really upset!

Audrey
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:37 PM   #4
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I just saw this on Google, that they've officially changed their name to "Topeka":

Official Google Blog: A different kind of company name
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
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25 years ago, some clown on a local station where I used to live did sort of a shaggy dog story about a guy giving away his entire 8 figure fortune ($500 to each person as I recall). He built it up and kept promising to get the phone number out on the air. Finally, he said he'd tracked down the number. All you had to do to get your $500 share was to dial 1-800-REQUEST.

Don't try this on your "modern" phone!
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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A few years ago, a couple local radio guys told everyone on the air that the local water utlility was going to "flush" the water system out, and they needed to put ziploc bags over the faucets in their house. They let that go for about 3 hours before they told them it was a joke, then had folks calling in for several hours bitching about it..........
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:38 PM   #7
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I see Johns Hopkins University changed their name to John Hopkins since no one could get it right.

John Hopkins University
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #8
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I see Johns Hopkins University changed their name to John Hopkins since no one could get it right.

John Hopkins University

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It is unclear exactly how long it will take for the university to change all its signage, but campus bookstores are distributing huge vats of Wite-Out™ to allow faculty members to immediately amend their business cards and stationery.
From the other posts it is clear that the media does occasionally make life more enjoyable...
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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On NPR this morning, they were discussing a new supreme court decision to give corporations the right to vote. The number of votes were based on number of employees and revenue.

I was taken in for a minute or so. Boy! was I getting hot under the collar about that. Then I remembered it was April 1st.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #10
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So funny, MichaelB--it sounds so real on first reading, too.

Here is a media April Fool's hoax our newspaper reminds us of every year (along with the Left-Handed Whopper from BurgerKing in 1998), from the BBC in 1957, about the wonderful Swiss spaghetti harvest that year:

You mean spaghetti doesn't grow on trees? I suppose in a few days you'll be posting that there really is no Easter Bunny. Sheesh..
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