Same job, different uniform.

Friday, March 31, 2006

April Foolery

As a ninth grader I was Willie Lovelace, the female lead in a popcorn melodrama called Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch. Our director was our drama teacher, a superior actor though a mediocre instructor. A tall, lanky gentleman with a goofy smile, wispy white hair and booming voice, he was beloved among every student that walked through the stage doors.

We decided to pull an April Fool's stunt by telling him, at various intervals throughout the day and using a bunch of random excuses, that we couldn't be in the play. My mom even wrote a note explaining the death of a fictional grandma in Pennsylvania. Other friends were yanked out for reasons I've since forgotten (I vaguely recall a "broken" limb). It was a good joke and it worked well. At the end of that day, we crept together into the classroom and the poor old man was slumped in his chair, head in his hands reading my mother's somber note.

When we told him the joke was on him, it took him a moment to absorb the news. We were elated with the success of our little scheme. It was really the best April Fools joke I've been involved in. I'm not involved in many April Fools jokes, clearly.

Others are and with even greater success.

Read this article for stories of some excellent and harmless hoaxes. Then laugh at yourself because, just maybe, you might have fallen for one of them.

In 1976 the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity.

Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

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Blogger kletois said...

That same sensation of weightlessness happened to me on a flight home from an outback mine. We dropped several thousand feet as we exited a thunderstorm. I think I prefer Patrick Moore's April fools joke to my experience though.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Blogger Ibid said...

weird. I used this very list of articles to teach about April Fool's day in France last year.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Blogger girlfriday said...

kletois: Good point. Fake weightlessness=good. Real weightlessness due to airplane losing altitude=bad.

ibid: Do they not "have" April Fool's in France?

Monday, April 03, 2006


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