Every year, somebody has to do it, somebody has to make some unbelievable (yet most of the time, funny) joke on the first of April. Let’s have some fun.
Nixon Comes for Seconds:
In 1992, National Public Radio (NPR) in their show Talk of the Nation announced that previous-President Richard Nixon, was going to run again. It also announced that his new slogan was, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”
NPR also provided audio clips of Nixon giving his campaign speech. Being so convinced, listeners called the radio station with shock and outrage. Only in the second part of the show did the show host, John Hockenberry, reveal that it was a practical joke. And that the audio clips was an impersonation performed by Rich Little.
Taco Bell owns the Bell:
In 1996, Taco Bell announced that it had bought up the Liberty Bell, in order to ease the national debt. And was announced on The Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, and USA Today. The ad read:
In an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the “Taco Liberty Bell” and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country’s debt.”
Many worried citizens called Taco Bell’s headquarters as well as Philadelphia’s National Park Service. To only find out that the bell had not really been sold.
For Lefties not Leftists:
In 1998, Burger King announced that it was going to introduce a new kind of burger. A new burger for all of the 11 million left-handed BK eaters in the UK. The left-handed Whopper. The design for it was that all the condiments rotated 180 degrees thereby moving the bulk of the weight to the left side of the burger.
The left-handed Whopper was announced as a practical joke, only after hundreds of UK citizens went and asked for a left-handed Whopper. Some even asked for the “old” right-handed burger. What was BK’s explanation? “Everyone knows that it takes two hands to hold a Whopper, not one,” said Lorraine Thomson (Marketing Director of BK in the UK).
If you haven’t noticed, today Google.com looks a little different. You probably clicked on your internet button, and instead of a big “Google” with a search bar under it, you saw this:
And you said, “What?” “Was Google bought up by some other company, maybe Topeka, Kansas?” Nope. It’s official, for April first, Google has officially changed it’s name to “Topeka”. Why? Because Topeka, Kansas officially changed their name to “Google, Kansas”. And in order to honor that, Google has officially changed their name to “Topeka” for a day.
And here’s the other prank, Google has also taken out all of the vowels in their Gmail (or should I say “Tmail”?) Login page.
While all this may be fun, we have forgotten the ultimate April Fools day prank.
It’s On! Er… Off… Er… On…
President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced earlier this month that Offshore Drilling was banned in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and would stay that way for three years. But then, twenty days later, announced that he will be opening parts (not many, by the way) of the OCS for drilling. There are two problems with this.
First, there is still a Congressional ban on drilling in the OCS. So President Obama’s statement is just rhetoric, he is just changing his opinion from what he established earlier last month.
Second, there is more bureaucracy (than normal) with his plan. As the New York Times reported:
But as a result of the Obama decision, the Interior Department will spend several years conducting geologic and environmental studies along the rest of the southern and central Atlantic Seaboard. If a tract is deemed suitable for development, it is listed for sale in a competitive bidding system. The next lease sales — if any are authorized by the Interior Department — would not be held before 2012.
[Later in the same context.]
In many of the newly opened areas, drilling would begin only after the completion of geologic studies, environmental impact statements, court challenges and public lease sales. Much of the oil and gas may not be recoverable at current prices and may be prohibitively expensive even if oil prices spike as they did in the summer of 2008.” The New York Times, March 30, 2010
So what that says, is that unless the government says that it is environmentally safe to drill in that spot (which takes years), then they will lease that property. And then companies can start working on drilling.
Nick Loris with The Heritage Foundation explains, “we won’t realize many of these benefits because this decision was more about getting ‘drilling’ in the headlines than in our nation’s waters.” This is clearly a smokescreen, designed to make people happy. April Fools day is fun, but we don’t seem to have as much fun at this as Obama does at playing political games.