I’m not without a sense of humor, but I find April Fool’s Day to be kind of gauche.? Respected news outlets try waaaaaay to hard to convince you of some stupid story and even worse, it seems like respected blogs also do the same thing.? Okay, maybe it’s because I fall for every freakin’ internet prank, like getting excited at the prospect of paper copies for my emails.? I’m still waiting Google.
Thankfully, you’ll just have to keep your radar on high alert and not believe anything you read.? Slate has even prepared a little defense kit to arm yourself with.
?You’re probably still kicking yourself for being fooled by the April 2000 Esquire feature about “Freewheelz,” an Illinois startup that promised “self-financing, free cars” to consumers. Every time you spot Discover magazine on the newsstand, you growl because you fell for its April 1995 article about the discovery of the ice-melting, penguin-eating hotheaded naked ice borer. Your father probably still gripes about Sports Illustrated‘s April 1, 1985, article about Sidd Finch, the New York Mets prospect who could throw a baseball 168 mph. […]
April Fools’ hoaxes succeed because the victims, conditioned by a stream of implausible but true stories in the press, aren’t expecting the sucker punch. If you don’t want to be anybody’s fool this year, assume a guarded crouch, especially as the countdown to April 1 progresses. Some April Fools’ Day pranks arrive in your mailbox a couple of days before the holiday in the form of a monthly magazine. Remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
So remember kids, don’t believe anything you read today, especially if it comes from British tabloids, Google, blogs, the New York Times, radio DJ’s, magazines and especially those tricksters over at NPR.? Then again Gmail was legitimately luanched back on April 1, 2004 and we all know how that one turned out.