FOR APRIL FOOL'S Day yesterday I thought I'd put up a blog post claiming that "Due to extreme loss of revenue, the Mountain View Voice regrets to announce that we will be shutting the paper down at the end of this week. Thank you all for your faithful readership over these past 17 years. It has been a wild ride." Something like that.
"Nah," said my boss, the publisher. "In this economy, people might actually believe you."
That's the point of course: A good April Fool's joke is no good if nobody buys it. But he's the boss, so I didn't write it.
Last year on April Fool's Day, I called my wife from the office and said, "How's it going?"
"Fine," she said, "how's it going with you?"
"Not so good," I said. "I just got fired!"
She screamed. I got her good that time.
As everyone knows by now, Google has a long and proud tradition of April Fool's Day hoaxes, but this year's was a strange one: something about an artificial intelligence called CADIE which answers your e-mail for you or something. I didn't quite get it so can't say it fooled me.
When someone tries to put an April Fool's joke over on you, and you don't even get it, who's the fool then?
The Guardian had a good one yesterday: "Twitter switch for Guardian, after 188 years of ink"
"Newspaper to be available only on messaging service -- Experts say any story can be told in 140 characters"
"Consolidating its position at the cutting edge of new media technology, the Guardian today announces that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter. ..."
I wonder if anyone bought it.