Skip to comments.Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time
Posted on 03/30/2012 2:10:57 AM PDT by SMGFan
Note from the Curator: I created the first version of this list in the late 1990s. Back then, there was hardly any information collected about April Fool's Day pranks, so I had to do a lot of research in newspaper archives to put this together. Luckily I was in grad school, so I had a lot of spare time on my hands ;-). Over the years I've tweaked the list, rearranging it slightly and adding new entries based on reader feedback and ongoing research, but my top choices have remained pretty much the same. This list is easily the most popular article I've ever posted on the Museum of Hoaxes
(Excerpt) Read more at museumofhoaxes.com ...
1957 Swiss Spaghetti Harvest...
In 1972 listeners to England's Radio 3 program In Parenthesis were treated to a roundtable discussion of a few cutting-edge new works of social anthropology and musicology. First up was a discussion of La Fornication Comme Une Acte Culturelle by Henri Mensonge (translated as Henry Lie). This book argued that "we live in an age of metaphorical rape" in which "confrontation, assault, intrusion, and exposure are becoming validated transactions, the rites of democracy, of mass society." This sparked a blisteringly incomprehensible debate, which eventually segued into an exploration of the question "Is 'Is' Is?" Finally, the audience heard a rousing deconstruction of the 'arch form' of the sonata's first motif. Listeners seemed to accept the program's discussion as a legitimate exploration of new trends in the arts. Thankfully, it was a parody.
Is this where Clinton got his idea?
“#47: Internet Spring Cleaning”
Back in the day, is was a BOFH (sysop). There were no PCs or even much in the way of graphic displays - computing mostly entailed dumb terminals hardwired to mainframes.
One April first I replaced the standard system login with a “cookie monster,” a program that after you entered user and password said “Gimme a cookie.” If you tried to abort and continue, it said “Don’t DO that! GIMME A COOKIE!”
Users and faculty thought it was cute. However, I got REAMED by the head of my department, Computing Services, because she couldn’t figure out how to get past the prompt.
I swear, they had a needle stuck in their skulls and half their brains sucked out to qualify for management.
That was one of the best practical jokes I ever heard...
You must be a hoot to the security folks.
Here’s my best one to date:
20+ years ago my company got a new phone system at the main office. We went from 3 lines to 17 lines and received fancy new desk phones. For ten days after everyone in the company received a daily memo from the communications company detailing some new feature the phone and service offered.
The day before April Fools Day I took the phone company letter head and made up a bogus memo that read:
TO: All XYX Company Business Phone Users
From: Joe Blow, Systems Engineer (name changed to protect the guilty)
Please be advised that on 4/1/91 we will be cleaning the business phone lines at your location.
High pressure air will be injected into the fiber optic cables to purge the system of accumulated dust and debris.
We recommend wrapping your phones handset in a plastic bag to prevent the expelled dust and debris from settling into your phones key punch pad.
The cleaning will begin promptly at 10:00 am and last for approximately 30 seconds.
Please take the necessary precautions to minimize any inconvenience of this required service.
I took three of these memos and put them on the desk of the people who I figured would fall for this, along with a nice waste basket size white plastic bag.
The next morning, April Fools Day, at about 9:30 one of these three people starts to make it her business to find out who in our office does not have a bag for their phone. She starts a panic about some type of phone company test, where theyre going to blow out the lines!. Shes running around telling everyone they had better cover up their handset.
At about 9:50am I started walking through the building and EVERYONE had their phone wrapped in plastic. There were people talking with a bag wrapped around the hand set overhead one saying in a loud voice..Its some kind of test, theyre blowing out the lines to the person she was talking to. Im starting to feel like a kid who through a baseball through his dads car windshield and dad is going to find out real soon who did it.
A couple of minutes before 10:00 I go up to the reception area to make a system wide page announcing April Fools!. At 10:00 the phones are ringing but no one is answering. Im holding the phone in my hand to make the page and the company President walks by and says, PUT THE PHONE DOWN, YOURE GOING TO GET SPRAYED IN THE FACE! By this time Im laughing so hard I can hardly speak.
I make my announcement Attention all of you with a bag on your phone, April Fools. There was Dead Silence. Not a sound. Then I hear murmers and Im gonna kill him, Hes gonna get it, etc.
Final count 27 phones bagged. I was a marked man and left to work in a branch office at a neighboring city for two weeks before going back into the main office.
It’s been 20+ years. The company imploded in the 2008 meltdown and all of us who worked together for so long have moved one to different employers. But every time we have a get together someone brings up “the time they blew out the phone lines”.
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