Wednesday, April 1, 2015

APRIL FOOL'S DAY

You can relax. I can't think up any jokes to play on you today. But I will tell you about one I pulled many years ago.

It was somewhere between 1970 and 1972 and I was working as a radio newsman at WIBC radio in Indianapolis. April 1st came around and I sat down at my typewriter. (You can Google "typewriter" if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

I began to write sentences about the sudden peace settlement ending the Vietnam War. That's the only one I remember but it was a page worth of "good" though improbable news, like the school system getting a sudden influx of cash from a lottery winner or a long-running and bitter bus strike being settled. Just one sentence about each subject. I figured the giveaway would be down near the end when I wrote that long-time political enemies, the local chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties, had reconciled and formed one combined party to work for the good of the county. Then at the end of the piece I wrote something to remind people of what day it was and signed it off.

Well! Apparently very few people heard that last sentence as we heard later that telephone lines (you may have to Google that, too) were jammed all the way to Chicago. Apparently people heard what they wanted to hear. I was a bit startled but my news director ran the piece over and over throughout the day. I think he later wrote a story explaining what we had done and, if not apologizing for it, at least commenting on how people had been taken in.

As I said before, nothing new this year but here's hoping you all have a happy April Fool's Day and, as the saying went when I was a kid, "don't take any wooden nickels."

8 comments:

  1. Bruce, sounds like a good one.

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  2. People used to trust news broadcasts.

    I think I would have caught on when you got to the political parties working for the common good.

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  3. That was a good prank, better still if it were true.

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  4. I can only wish it could be true soon...

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  5. This made me think of the first time I saw an edition of The Onion. When I started reading it I had no idea it was satirical. (I'm sad to say, I didn't have to look up any of the "antiques" you mentioned.)

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