Monday, April 2, 2007

No Fooling

You will all be glad that I refrained from any April Fool's high jinks this year. My wife is probably glad too. The problem actually is that April Fool's day is on the first day of April. It suffers from the same problem as my birthday. It sneaks up on people. Each year I don't start thinking of a good prank until that morning which is of course far too late to pull off a really good prank.

What makes a good April Fool's prank?

1) It needs subtlety. This is what Slashdot never seems to get right. Just about every post on April 1 is a really bad attempt at humor or pulling a fast one. It may just be that geeks are humor impaired. The challenge with Slashdot is that you aren't looking for the prank, but trying to find out if anything posted that day is true at all. It is really just lame and I make a point of not visiting Slashdot on April Fool's Day.

2) It must be convincing. My wife reads many more blogs and one of her friends who is 8 months pregnant (and due to her body frame looks like she was full term a month ago) posted the simple message "Our baby was born this morning at 4:45! Too tired to post details. Will do so later. All are well." Very convincing. Of course one of my cousins was born on 4/1 and nobody believed my uncle at all when he called to announce the news. Given the history of pranks that he and siblings pulled, you can't blame them.

3) It should be harmless. No one should get hurt, lose their job, etc. They should be informed at some point that they got snookered. Every year I look forward to listening to WXRT as they always do something interesting. This year 4/1 landed on Sunday. Usually we listen to some hymns to prepare for church, but I wanted to see what this year's theme was. To my surprise the regular morning weekday DJ and was broadcasting and doing the regular weekday programming (news, sports, traffic, weather on the half hour, etc.). Even though I was looking for it, I almost missed it. I wonder how many non-church going folk got in a panic and headed off for work. :-)

I'll have to work on something good next year for my kids. I'm sure they will appreciate it, but of course, why wait until next year?