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Old 05-24-2005, 09:00 AM   #1
ElyseC
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Default Great April Fools hoaxes

OK, OK, so I don't promptly deal with all of the humor email sent by friends and family. I'll bet you don't either, so there. <g>

I got this last month and just got around to reading it today. When I read item 2, I knew I had to post it here. <g> Enjoy!

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Museum of Hoaxes has more.

1. The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest -- The respected BBC news show "Panorama" announced in 1957 that the elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, along with a mild winter, had produced a bumper crop for Swiss spaghetti farmers. The show even had footage of Swiss peasants harvesting strands of pasta from trees. So taken in were viewers that many called asking how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.

2. San Serriffe -- The British newspaper The Guardian in 1977 published a seven-page supplement extolling the 10th anniversary of San Seriffe, a small republic in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands. Its two main islands, the special section noted, were Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. It's capital was Bodoni and its leader was General Pica. Readers were enthralled with the idyllic holiday spot and wanted more information -- only to be disappointed to learn the references were all named after printer's terminology.

3. Sidd Finch -- New York Mets fans celebrated their team's great luck when Sports Illustrated published an article in April 1985 about a rookie named Sidd Finch who could throw a baseball with startling precision at 168 mph, or 65 mph faster than anyone before. Finch, the article noted, had never played baseball before and had mastered "the art of the pitch" in a Tibetan monastery. The magazine was flooded with requests for more information about the pitcher who, as it turned out, lived only in the imagination of the article's author, George Plimpton.

4. The Taco Liberty Bell -- In 1996, Taco Bell Corp. announced it had purchased the Liberty Bell from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Outraged citizens complained to the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell is housed. A few hours later, Taco Bell admitted the spoof. Perhaps the best line was delivered by then-White House press secretary Mike McCurry who, when asked about the sale, said the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold to a different corporation and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

5. Nixon for President -- National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" reported in 1992 that Richard Nixon was running again for president under the slogan "I didn't do anything wrong and I won't do it again." The show played audio clips of Nixon delivering his candidacy speech as the show was flooded with calls from shocked and outraged listeners. Only during the second half of the show did host John Hockenberry reveal the joke. Nixon's voice had been impersonated by comedian Rich Little.
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