Don’t Forget Today is April Fool’s Day
It is April 1 and as much as I want to I will not use this space to set the stage for a great April Fool’s Day prank which is something I had done on several occasions many years ago. The best one had me leaving WOBM for a very believable position within the Penn State football program and it was so convincing that months later I had people asking me about my new job.
Like Valentine’s Day there is no definitive proof of when April Fool’s Day started but some historians claim 1582 was the year and it had to do with France switching from the Julian to Gregorian calendar which changed the start of the new year from April 1 to January 1. Some people refused to accept the change and for different reasons still went by the old calendar and they were often mocked or made fun of on April 1.
As for some legendary pranks of the past. In 1957 a newscaster for the BBC reported that a Swiss region near the Italian border had an “exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop” that year. Video showed people picking spaghetti off trees and bushes and then sitting down to eat it. While some people thought it was a prank all along others reached out to find out how they could grow their own spaghetti at home.
In 1998 Burger King claimed to create a new item…the Left-Handed Whopper. They claimed the condiments were rotated 180 degrees to better suit the 1.4 million southpaws who frequented their restaurants. Thousands of customers requested the special burger and got the same Whopper as right-handers.
On the sports side some of you might remember the famous Sports Illustrated cover story about Sid Finch during the Mets spring training of 1985. Well-known writer George Plimpton fabricated the entire story about Finch, who was raised in an orphanage, moved to Tibet to learn yoga, played the French horn, wore one boot on his right foot and threw a 168 MPH fastball. The article contained believable pictures and quotes from coaches and players. Unfortunately for the Mets it was all a joke.
Happy April Fool’s Day…and watch out!