Just after Christmas, we wrote about the tradition of the Holy Innocents here in Spain which involves playing jokes on people (and fake stories in the Press) every 28th of December. Well, tomorrow is the date for many English-speaking countries and so if you see an article about Viagra for hamsters or the Houses of Parliament being sold to a Texan billionaire, then it’s safe to say it’s, ahem, not true. Or is it?
Here’s one of our favourites, from the Museum of Hoaxes’ Top 100 April Fool’s Day Jokes:
Diseases of Brunus Edwardii
1972: The Veterinary Record, the weekly journal of the British veterinary profession, contained an article about the diseases of Brunus Edwardii, which was described as a species “commonly kept in homes in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe and North America.” The article warned:
Pet ownership surveys have shown that 63.8 percent of households are inhabited by one or more of these animals, and there is a statistically significant relationship between their population and the number of children in a household. The public health implications of this fact are obvious, and it is imperative that more be known about their diseases, particularly zoonoses or other conditions which might be associated with their close contact with man.
For months afterwards the correspondence section of the Veterinary Record was dominated by letters about Brunus Edwardii, most of which offered new observations about the species. The article proved so popular that it was eventually published in a special edition by Whittington Press, although it was reported that the British Library later had difficulty deciding how to classify it, as fact or fiction. Brunus Edwardii is more commonly known as the “Teddy Bear“.
Check out these excellent resources for more information:
- Origin of April Fool’s Day – can we honestly blame the French?
- Google Hoaxes – why GMail Custom Time and Scratch and Sniff Book Search weren’t real …
- Hoax.com – a community site where people try to sort out the real events and people from the hoaxes and potentially more dangerous “scams”. In the middle, there are those who believe that Michael Jackson is still alive and that aliens took their mother-in-law hostage.
- The Fool’s Day.com – if it didn’t exist, they would have to invent this site!
Strange Random Hoax Quote:
The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool’s Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
Related articles by Zemanta
- How April Fool’s Day became our least funny holiday (trueslant.com)
- Joke: Google Chrome With 3D Powered By CADIE (ubergizmo.com)
- BBC “Spaghetti Harvest” Ranks Among Top April Fools Gags (patspapers.com)
- A Retro April Fool’s Day at the Farrmers Market (franklinavenue.blogspot.com)
- Mobilaga Introduces New iPhone App for April Fool’s Day, ‘Dude, Your Car!’ (prweb.com)