When April Fool’s Day Can Send You Running for Cover

Left-handed burger? Taco Bell Liberty bell anyone? April 1st. It is the day that pranksters live for all year. From a wife announcing an April Fool’s not-pregnancy to baked goods that look one thing but are something else; April Fool’s Day usually involves harmless short jokes. On April 1st, kids and adults around the world try to trick their friends and family with small and large pranks. Sometimes April Fools pranks go awry and are enacted on large groups of people, cities and even the world.

  • In 1940, the world thought that the world would end on April 1st. A Franklin Institute press release brought dooms-day fear into the hearts of people around the world but was only a press release for a potential subsequent lecture entitled “How Will the World End?”. Obviously, the world did not end but mass panic ensued.
  • Ginger-headed individuals with a tree disease? This April’s Fool falsehood was perpetuated by BBC radio and definitely sent redheads running for cover (or at least a hat) in 1973. Exposure to Dutch Elm Disease which killed trees was briefly tied to common cold immunizations. No redheaded hairs fell out or turned yellow but redheads feared forests for one day.
  • Airline travel can be stressful on a good flight. On April Fool’s Day in 1992, panicked Los Angeles-bound passengers landing were greeted by a large sign saying Welcome to Chicago. They were landing in Los Angeles as expected but for two days in 1992, passengers who fell asleep or just weren’t listening thought they were on the opposite coast.
  • Unicorn meat anyone? Do you have Prince Albert in a can? While airline passengers might have thought they were on the wrong coast, ThinkGeek perpetuated a food hoax in 2010 that put unicorn meat into a can (a stuffed unicorn filled each can of this gift-y item). Most people got it and knew it was akin to RoadKill in a Can. German custom agents believed it was “real” unicorn meat and stopped shipments at customs.
  • In 1983, BMW advertised a car that offered no sunroof cover. Their “rain-deflecting open top car” was billed as having a sunroof that could stay open in the rain. Passengers could stay dry because of special jets blasting the rain away. Apparently, it was a successful April Fool’s advertising campaign–BMW has continued with successful spoof marketing on the day since.
  • Another business that likes to have a little fun on April Fool’s Day is Google. In 2011, their April Fool’s prank tried to convince consumers that Gmail Motion was the wave the the future with the ability to write emails with mere hand gestures. Ever the innovators, Google took the joke one step forward and actually figured out how to make the technology possible.
  • Speaking of hand gestures, Burger King got in on the April Fool’s tomfoolery in 1998 when they introduced their “Left-Handed Whopper”. Hungry and left-handed Burger King diners actually requested the sandwich that didn’t exist. Before the Left-Handed Whopper, Taco Bell enacted a more historical April Fool’s joke in 1996 when they announced they had bought the Liberty Bell and officially called it the Taco Liberty Bell.

If spoof advertising and widespread news stories aren’t in your April Fool’s line-up, try fooling your friends and neighbors with some recipes that fool the eye – What looks like mashed potatoes might actually be whipped cream! offers up a fun list of easy and kid-friendly April Fool’s options. On April 1st 2015, keep your eyes open online and in restaurants. Whether you are the prank-ee or the prankster, enjoy April Fool’s Day with good clean fun!


The post When April Fool’s Day Can Send You Running for Cover appeared first on Karma Kiss Blog.

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