April Fool’s Day — a day where practical jokers come out of the woodwork — is Tuesday and the hunt is already on for the best possible prank.
In 2013, the TTC announced it was introducing a personal car, where riders could stretch out their legs, clip their toenails and enjoy a smelly snack in peace.
Virgin Airways launched a glass-floor plane, WestJet allowed any time of animal to fly in the main cabin under their “Furry Family” program and Google announced a new program called ‘Nose’ — an ability to smell through your computer.
This year, Google is being used ahead of time to search for the top trick, and more people than ever are looking for practical jokes, according to published reports. In Canada, a search for the word “pranks” is the most popular in Alberta, followed by Ontario and British Columbia.
Whether it’s a classic salt in the sugar bowl (exactly what it sounds like) or being a chair (see an explanation here) there’s a perfect prank for every prankster — and victim.
For the last-minute joker, try a sticky note on the underside of a mouse for a last-minute trick to drive an office colleague crazy. For a spouse or child, consider taping their fork or spoon to the place mat.
For something slightly more time-consuming, replace the filling in an Oreo cookie with toothpaste (you may have to do the whole box to make it truly believable), or making caramel apples out of onions.
The Canadian Press published a list of the best-ever April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Check it out below:
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
The BBC TV news show “Panorama” fooled viewers in 1957 with a story about rare spaghetti trees in Switzerland. Apparently, the pasta wasn’t commonly eaten in the United Kingdom at that time, and after the segment aired, the BBC was flooded with calls asking for gardening tips.
Celebrating San Serriffe
British newspaper the Guardian calls it the best April 1st hoax it ever pulled off.
In 1977, the paper printed a seven-page travel piece celebrating ten years of independence for beautiful San Serriffe, which it described as “a small archipelago, its main islands grouped roughly in the shape of a semicolon, in the Indian Ocean.” Font and design aficionados no doubt loved the phoney story, rife with sly nods to typography (capital city Bodoni, two islands named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse, run by General M J Pica). Today, a remarkably detailed Wikitravel entry takes the joke even further than the Guardian did.
The legend of fireballer Sidd Finch
In 1985, Sports Illustrated profiled the New York Mets’ up-and-coming baseball talent Hayden (Sidd) Finch, a 28-year-old pitcher with a startling 168 m.p.h. fastball. Beyond his hard-to-believe heater, Finch’s bio was bizarre. The yoga practitioner hated to be photographed, favoured wearing a single hiking boot on the mound, and was torn between playing baseball or becoming a professional horn player. Everyone bought the story, including other media outlets that rushed to cover the Mets’ spring training camp after the magazine hit newsstands. “Finch” then announced his retirement and the hoax was revealed.
Richard Branson’s UFO
In 1989, many Londoners were convinced they had just witnessed a UFO flying across the sky. And then it slowly started to land. When the hatch opened, out came… multi-billionaire Richard Branson. He had outfitted a saucer-shaped hot air balloon with eerie lights for a publicity stunt to promote Virgin Records.
No drinking and surfing
Back in 1994, the prehistoric days of the Internet as we know it today, PC Computing magazine reported on a U.S. Senate bill that sought to prohibit using the net while drunk. The bill, number 040194, would also have made it a felony to “discuss sexual matters on any public-access network, including the Internet, America Online, and CompuServe.” The article’s author, John C. Dvorak, urged readers to contact Lirpa Sloof in the Senate Legislative Analysts Office. “Her name spelled backward says it all.”
Loonie, toonie, threenie
Listeners of CBC Radio’s As It Happens heard in 2008 that the success of the loonie and toonie would mean more change coming soon. A Royal Canadian Mint spokesman reported that the $5 bill would be replaced by year’s end with a new $3 coin to be called the threenie. Some listeners were initially fooled — and outraged — but the hoax was short-lived.
What’s the best April Fool’s Day prank you’ve ever pulled? Let us know in the comments.