Fools’ names and fools’ faces
Often seen in public places.
— wisdom from my Granny
Good thing dear Granny did not know I was going to go into the newspaper biz as there would have been no end of her dismay.
I’m only mentioning this because one of our two local journals, the Comox Valley Echo, dropped my name today. It was at the tail end of an article concerning the April Fools jokes we used to run on the special days when April 1 was a publication day. And the point was I was the guy who wrote those fictitious tales.
Now, for an April Fools gag to work it is essential that it seems real. It must have veracity swimming around it to suck the suckers in. And the whole point of April Foolishness is indeed to suck the suckers in.
The English seem to be masters of the well-placed April Fools gag. Their true classic is the very real sounding documentary concerning how heavy rains had ruined the spaghetti crop growing in Northern Italy. Thousands believed it. There were a few when I lived there including the brilliant one concerning the UK’s entry into the Common Market and how there would be a focus on getting the Brits to drive on the right to be in line with the rest of Europe. To ease the country in gently right-hand driving would only be mandatory in certain selected communities until folks got used to it.
Another was a means of addressing the wastage created by sausage skins. Homeowners were asked to peel their sausages in future and to leave out the discarded skins so that the milkman could pick them up in the morning.
The ones that we did in the Free Press, I am proud to say, sucked in a lot of people including, as the Echo article pointed out a new reporter in our midst who wanted to get a story out of some bit of April Fool’s folderol on the front page. So, he made a point of calling our MLA to get comment. He, at that point, didn’t know how we rolled at the beloved Green Sheet.
I am only sorry, in these troubled times, there isn’t more April 1 tomfoolery. I think the world needs it. We have enough fools in politics so I think it’s time the public got a break with a few yuks.
Long live April Fools Day.