For instance, in Chicago, the National Football League’s “Bears” team announced that, in conjunction with its 100th season this fall, all of the players jerseys would have a “1” placed in front of their regular number, resulting in triple digits on their uniforms.
Up in New England, quarterback Tom Brady of the National Football League’s “Patriot” team announced his retirement. The world was told by the six-time Super Bowl champion in his first ever Twitter account tweet that he was “retiring”. He quickly made it clear that he was joking, but by then, his original tweet had generated more than 20,000 retweets in just two hours after going live.
Down under, McDonalds’ Hamburgers introduced its new McPickle burger. Their clever campaign was so deceptive that it had customers actually angry after they discovered it was only a joke. Numerous individuals responded that they were actually looking forward to tasting the new burger.
Not to be outdone, the SodaStream Company announced a new product that turns burps into carbonated water. Supposedly, their new “SodaStreamMe” water bottle uses a person's burps to actually produce carbonated water. And they claimed it had been endorsed by astronaut Scott Kelly.
Perhaps the best of all was T-Mobile's Cellular Phone Company’s portable phone booth. Titled the "T-Mobile Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE," the wireless provider asserted that it would now provide customers with a portable phone booth for private phone calls that is literally "just a cardboard box with a hole in it."
Of course, there is a long tradition of classic April Fools jokes. Some of the better ones over the years have been jewels.
For instance, on April 1, 2008, a BBC broadcast contained a segment about what it said was a rare breed of penguin with the ability to fly. It went on to explain that these particular penguins don’t need to huddle together for warmth as they spend the winter in the tropical rainforests of South America rather than Antarctica.
Years before, on April 1, 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced in several newspapers, including the New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer, that it was acquiring the Liberty Bell. Almost immediately, hundreds of angry taxpayers started calling National Park Service employees to protest!
A few years before this, on April 1, 1992, National Public Radio announced that, in a surprise move, Richard Nixon was running for president again. His campaign slogan was going to be: “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” Actual audio clips of Nixon delivering a campaign speech were aired. But it was later revealed that comedian Rich Little was the voice impersonating the former president.
According to the “The Museum of Hoaxes” website, an award for quick thinking should have been given to White House press secretary Mike McCurry. When he was asked about the sale, he quickly ad-libbed that the Lincoln Memorial also had been sold and that it would now be known as the “Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial”.
And of course, the granddaddy of them all – the April 1, 1957 BBC broadcast about residents in Switzerland harvesting a bumper crop of spaghetti from full to overflowing spaghetti trees. (See my previous blog post on 03/31/2016 titled "HARD TO SWALLOW!")
While not everyone appreciates a good April fool’s day joke, I personally love such pranks. It is arguable that most of us take ourselves and life far too seriously. For this reason, we need a little levity in our lives. In Proverbs, chapter 17, verse 22, the Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
Physicians and clinicians have long pointed out the truth of this verse. Laughter is good for both the body and the soul. (The article below points out many of these.)
So, enjoy the humor this first day of April has brought. It’s been a good one. But make tomorrow a good one too. Find something to laugh about tomorrow as well. And the day after. And again the day after that. You’ll be better off for it. So will the world.
BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER: