I love April Fools' Day. It is the one day of the year that you can lie or pull a prank and get away with it.
Myself, I have been pulling April Fools' Day pranks since I was a kid and still enjoy it today. Whether I'm removing the balls from a co-workers' computer mouse or creating "adult-themed" Web sites, nobody is safe from me.
Is it juvenile? Of course. Is it immature? Absolutely. But, how boring would life be if we didn't have some fun, especially at other people's expense?
That is why I enjoyed Friday's edition of the Bulldog Barker. As soon as I heard the front page article said that construction on the new math and science center at the high school had halted because of budget issues, I knew it was an April Fools' Day spoof, but not just because I was busy planning my own pranks.
When I was a senior in college, I was the editor of our campus newspaper and we ran a story that the famous names of authors that were carved into the library would be replaced by advertisements for local and national businesses. We also ran a photo of the library with Taco Bell, Applebee's and Trojan printed on the building. Of course the funniest part of the whole ordeal was when we got phone call after phone call of people who were outraged that the university was promoting condoms on the library. Oh, it was a lot of fun, the same kind of fun I am sure the Barker students were having until they showed up for school on Monday.
I heard the uproar the Barker's spoof caused. Some people were angry, calling the superintendent. Others said with school board elections being held yesterday the article might have an impact. Our newspaper even had to run a front page story on Sunday to try to reassure people that the construction had not been halted.
All I can say is that the only people who were upset were the people that were fooled by the high school students. They were angry that they could be so "fool"ish to fall for the spoof. Maybe next time they will read beyond the front page headline.
But people who were fooled shouldn't be upset because they didn't fall for something completely ridiculous like the people did in Philadelphia in 1996. That is when the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell causing hundreds of outraged citizens to express their anger.
Of course, then there was my favorite of all-time. In 1998, Burger King published a full-page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item on their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper."
According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper, but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees. Apparently thousands of customers had gone into restaurants asking for the new sandwich while others requested their own "right-handed version."
So my hat goes off to those at the Barker as well as those in the high school administration who allowed it to run. And of course to all you readers out there, when April 1 nears, be sure to read more than just the front page headline.