It’s rare that a dull man is bold enough to pull an April Fool’s Joke on someone. Except perhaps the one about Paint That Never Dries that he might try out on fellow dull men.
There are some great ones, however, that we can enjoy and laughing about:
• Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
April 1, 1957: BBC broadcasted a report on its current affairs program, Panorama, about a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from spaghetti trees.
This was when Italian dishes were not widely available in the U.K. Some Brits did not know spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water.
Hundreds of viewers phoned the BBC, either to say the story was not true or were wondering about it, asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees.
Decades later CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled.”
You can watch this harvesting now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ugSKW4-QQ
It’s in the Museum of Hoaxes: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/the_swiss_spaghetti_harvest
• Metric Time
April 1, 1975: an Australian TV show, This Day Tonight, announced the country would be converting to “metric time.”
Metric time would have 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days.
Seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays.
A shot of Adelaide’s Town Hall with a new 10-hour metric clock face was shown.
The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran [who was on in the prank] praised the new time system.
came into the TV station from viewers who fell for the hoax. One irate
caller who had just purchased a new digital clock wanted to know
whether it could be converted to metric time.
It’s in the Museum of Hoaxes: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/af_database/permalink/metric_time/
• Left-Handed Whopper
April 1, 1998: Burger King cooked up a new Whopper.
In a full-page ad in USA Today, Burger King announced a solution for the 1.4 million southpaws visiting their restaurants every day — a Left-Handed Whopper.
So they could “Have It Their Way,” the burger’s contents were rotated 180° for left-handed customers.
Left-handers tried to order the burger the next day. They had to wait in line behind right-handed customers, however, who wanted to be certain they were getting right-handed Whoppers.
Obviously it didn’t occur to any of these customers that a burger is a circle — in which components are equal all the way around.
This was covered in Time: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1888721_1888719_1888662,00.html
It’s in the Museum of Hoaxes: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/af_database/permalink/the_left-handed_whopper/
• Norman Cousins’ specimen — laughing his way to wellness
We blogged about this recently — click here