Last Friday’s post “Signing Off” was an April Fool’s joke. I learned just how many people do pay attention to the blog when I said I was quitting. Like all good things, this blog will come to an end some day, last Friday was not that day.
In the spirit of April Fool’s let me share some of the greatest pranks of all time:
Google Changes Its Name To Topeka – Google’s annual April Fools Jokes are always cool … this year (2010) for its prank, Google changed its name to Topeka (city in Kansas), and Google.Com was titled “Topeka” instead of “Google,” still with its distinctive blue-red-yellow-green font. Why? Because in March, Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten announced that he was informally changing the name of his town to “Google,” just for one month …
Expedia Offers Flights To Mars For Only $99 – Expedia has dropped all booking fees – including fees on flights to Mars. Save over $3M on a Mars vacation …
For April Fools Day – 2007, Google.Com did two hilarious pranks which were featured on their homepage. One was the TiSP (BETA)™, a free in-home wireless broadband service that delivers online connectivity via users’ plumbing systems (i.e. their toilets). They did a full-on press release and everything,
The Taco Liberty Bell – In 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Naturally, hundreds of outraged citizens called up the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell is housed to express their anger. Things only calmed down when Taco Bell revealed a few hours later that it was just a practical joke.
Starbucks offers giant and micro-sized coffee cups – Starbucks will introduce two new beverage sizes in stores in the U. S. and Canada this Fall – Plenta™ (128 fl oz) and Micra™ (2 fl oz) cups ….
In 1994, a writer for PC Computing magazine, John Dvorak, described to his readers how Congress was passing a bill that would make it illegal to drink alcohol whilst surfing the Internet (to avoid crashes perhaps?). The bill would also outlaw the discussion of sexual topics over a public network.
Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. This was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.” Mets fans celebrated their teams’ amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information. In reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the author of the article, George Plimpton
Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”
The Daily Mail reported that a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 “rogue bras” that were causing a unique and unprecedented problem, not to the wearers but to the public at large. Apparently the support wire in these bras had been made out of a kind of copper originally designed for use in fire alarms. When this copper came into contact with nylon and body heat, it produced static electricity which, in turn, was interfering with local television and radio broadcasts. The chief engineer of British Telecom, upon reading the article, immediately ordered that all his female laboratory employees disclose what type of bra they were wearing.