I would guess that many of us watched the news or read the papers this morning looking out for the spoof stories. Others of us have to watch out for our families, friends and work colleagues trying to score an April Fool over us. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t the victim of any of these pranks today, but maybe that’s my own fault for having the day off work.
I did briefly manage to get both Chris at work and Sue (my wife) fooled by my own line that there had been a announcement that a great new initiative was being launched today to reduce unemployment by classifying all volunteers as being employed. Chris was fooled for about 20 seconds, but I had to check that Sue knew what the date was.
I also like the Twitter stunt pulled by Nottingham cafe, the Hungry Pumpkin on Twitter this morning. The claimed to have created a new cup cake using Belgian chocolate with only 50 calories it was called a preelfewl cake.
But perhaps the high spot of today is on the BBC’s website. They have put up a list of 10 news stories that, they tell us, are both weird and true.
1.Coastguards in Falmouth, Cornwall, picked up a distress signal call from a ship named the MV Titanic in the Caribbean. Three people were on the ship which was taking on water and suffering from electrical failure.
2. Chilli grower Woody Woods, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, is laying claim to the world’s hottest variety of pepper. Tests carried out by Warwick University rate the Infinity chilli at 1,067,286 on the Scoville Scale, which is used to measure the heat of peppers – hotter than the Bhut Jolokia variety which is used for crowd control by the Indian Army.
3. Tucking into a fried breakfast of sausages, eggs, bacon, beans, mushrooms, black pudding and tomatoes is a healthier way to start the day than a bowl of cereal, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.
4. The UK’s first sustainable cat food will go on sale later this year, allowing owners to feed felines their favourite fish with a clear conscience. People are becoming increasingly concerned about sustainability and the provenance of the fish they feed their pets, says Mars Petcare, manufacturers of the new food.
5. A couple from Devon staged a Flintstone-themed wedding that saw the groom dressed as Fred Flintsone, the bride as Wilma, the best man as Barney Rubble and… you can guess the rest. They sealed their vows with the promise “Yabba dabba, I do”.
6. A British van driver who hit two ducks while driving home through Belgium discovered one of them alive, wedged under the bonnet, when he stopped to inspect the damage at a motorway service station on the M1. He took the duck to a rescue centre which said it had a broken wing, but should make a good recovery.
7. A 300-page book of Gordon Brown’s best speeches, called The Change We Choose; Speeches 2007-2009, has been published by “popular demand”.
8. Cabin crew who say they are owed up to nine months’ wages by a Spanish airline have posed nude for a calendar to highlight their plight.
9. Etiquette arbiter Debretts is publishing a guide to polite motoring which includes tips such as avoid spraying perfume while in a car and keep conversation light in order to avoid in-car arguments.
10. Rumours – and so, perhaps, April Fools jokes – spread as rapidly as flu, thanks to a test carried out on the internet. Researchers from Rome’s La Sapienza University posted a message on Twitter only to see it appear in a newspaper 17 hours later.
I’m not convinced that these stories are true. The whole BBC article could be an April Fool hoax.
I am sure of only one thing about news today. If I had some quirky news to reveal to the world, I’d keep it until tomorrow if I wanted anyone to believe a word of it.