The day that’s in it means there are hundreds of pranks floating around the internet. If you’ve read anything even slightly surprising in the news today you can be almost certain that it’s a hoax. Depressing isn’t it ?
We put together a list of some of our favourite pranks from this year, and indeed previous years, because there’s nothing quite like a good hoax to get you giggling . . . especially when you could be suffering from the effects of a few pranks yourself.
10. The Facebook Initiative
The Register published a rather amusing and extremely bizarre article based on a fake interview with Bill Gates in which he claimed Facebook founder, Mark Suckerberg, is the product of a whirlwind romance between himself and the leading lady in an off-broadway show entitled “Little Morphine Annie”.
9. The Left-Handed Whopper
In 1998 fast-food joint, Burger King, ran a full page ad in US newspaper USA today, advertising the latest edition to it’s menu, The Left-Handed Whopper. The Burger was exactly the same as the Whopper only all ingredients were rotated 180 degrees.
Apparently a surprising amount of people requested a Left-Handed Whopper and in the traditional, “there’s always one” manner, several people requested right-handed whoppers because why the hell shouldn’t they ?
8. Daylight Savings
In 1984 an Illinois newspaper advertised a competition to see who could save the most daylight for daylight savings time. The contest was to begin on the first day of daylight savings time and contestants could store the light in any container as long as it was pure light (no twilight or dawn allowed and don’t even raise the question of moonlight).
It received a nationwide response.
7. Big Ben Goes Digital
An oldie but a goldie. In 1980 the BBC told everyone that Big Ben was going digital. Not only that but the BBC was auctioning off the four hands to the first four callers.
A bloke from Japan rang in with a bid. Sigh.
6. Bill Gates is Assassinated
Korean journos reported that Bill Gates had been assassinated and cited CNN as the source not realising CNN was taking the mickey.
The stock market dropped 1.5% that day (losses of about $3 billion) and suddenly, it wasn’t so funny anymore. Well. . .ok, it was.
5. The Spaghetti Trees of 1957
In what some argue to be the most successful hoax in television history, the BBC broadcasted a report on a Bumper Spaghetti Harvest in Switzerland, which was thanks to an incredibly mild winter that season.
The report showed women “harvesting” strands of spaghetti from the branches of trees.
4. Space Shuttle Landing in Scotland
Real Radio Scotland told listeners that the Space Shuttle would be landing at Cumbernauld airfield.
100 people showed up to watch.
3. USB Stick Pregnancy Tests
Every April Fool’s Day ThinkGeek.com put a whole load of fake products on their homepage.
This year’s range included USB stick pregnancy tests and Betamax to HD DVD converters.
2. Jimmy Wales Gives Up His Riches
The Register reported that Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, had decided to resign and give up his wealthy lifestyle in favour of that of the Franciscan Friars.
1. Rick Roll’d
All of the videos on YouTube’s homepage lead to the same video of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You up".
While this may seem funny to some of you, there are many people out there who take comfort in the knowledge that Rick is never gonna give them up, never gonna let them down, never gonna run around and desert them.
Some say these people are no strangers to love. . .We just call them saps.
Adventures of a News Editor
Large-scale internet pranks, affecting hundreds if not thousands (or hundreds of thousands, if you’re really good), are the mainstay of what we hear about on April 1. But don’t think that the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle art, of personal pranks known only to the few souls directly affected has gone out of fashion.
Below you will observe the scene that greeted our intrepid news hack Jane McEntegart’s housemate when he returned from a 12-hour graveyard shift. Scores of paper cups in the hallway, half filled with water and blocking all access to stairs, dining room, kitchen or toilet. The water in each cup meant that the unassuming housemate would have to pick up each cup individually if he wanted to avoid mopping the hall as well as collecting exactly 300 paper cups. It took two people about a half an hour to do all that. It took effort, and planning to do at 08.15 before rushing out to work.
At 09.15 the hapless housemate arrived home, presumably swore quite a bit, and plotted his revenge. At 10.30 Jane began to get calls from anonymous numbers and some rather odd text messages. By 11.30 her phone was being inundated with messages of love, lust and pictures from kind gentlemen wishing to express it in more phallic terms.
By 12.00 yours truly was answering the phone calls, the gruff male “Hello” prompting most to simply hang up, though one or two amusing conversations did ensue between myself and some chaps attempting to explain, that I must be the subject of a prank listing on a personals site ; their casual or even concerned tones belying the fact that they had been responding to an ad about Jane, in her French maids uniform, looking for, well, more or less than dinner and a movie, depending on how you look at it.
It just goes to show that the personal prank on April 1st is alive and well, and can range from clever and time consuming manual labour, to simple and instant technological torment. Just remember that come April 2nd all scores should be settled and left alone for another year. I don’t like having to answer a phone every two minutes, or be handed it to go and sanitise whatever MMS has just arrived in.