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April Fool’s Day Falls Mercifully on a Sunday


I’m sitting here in my bunker wondering when IT is going to happen. It is April 1st, after all. This is April Fool’s Day. It’s been too quiet. Something must be afoot. Oh, wait, it’s Sunday. Mercifully, thankfully, it is Sunday. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good joke as much as anybody. But April Fool’s pranks have escalated in their ingenuity and intensity since the days when I walked into Masonville Elementary School on the first of April only to be told by countless classmates that my shoelaces were untied.

But now that April Fool’s has fallen on a Sunday, maybe we can be spared of the redundancies. I can’t see anyone pulling a fast one on somebody at church, for example. There have been some good ones, though.  I remember, oh, I guess it was about 12 years ago, when our morning show host at the time, Sky Phillips, had two friends of his–both from Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean–record some fake news stories that he would play back. They were awesome. And they were harmless. AND, most significantly, they were pre-9/11. As innocuous as that joke was, it would never have played after September 11, 2001.

Radio pranks on April Fool’s Day have always been elaborate. It’s just that they’ve all kind of run themselves into the ground. I can’t imagine that anyone who hears anything on April 1st that sounds completely outrageous would ever believe it. All the jokes–every last one of them–have run their courses.

And, if you think about it, it’s kind of like the boy who cried wolf. Suppose something really catastrophic were to happen on this day. Who would believe it? Fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission has put its foot down regarding on-air hoaxes. Some, after all, can get really out of hand.

I mean, is it really wise to convince listeners of a serious crime that HASN’T been committed or a national disaster that HASN’T actually happened? I’d say no. Are harmless pranks fun? Sure. I love ’em. But maybe they’d work much better if they happened on, say, August 14th. Just a suggestion…oh, look at that. My shoelaces ARE untied.

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