More Fool Who?

Well, it's April 1st tomorrow (okay, today), so we can expect the usual round of lame practical jokes followed by shrieks of "April Fool!" from those with the sense of humour of a placemat and the sophistication of a comatose puppy.

Real April Fool's jokes require subtlety and skill.

The all-time greatest has to go to the BBC who, in 1957, fooled thousands into believing that spaghetti grew on trees and, in 1976, beloved BBC astronomer Sir Patrick Moore had people jumping up into the air because a unique alignment of the planets would temporarily decrease the Earth's gravity. Scarier is that hundreds called into his show to say that the experiment worked and they had, indeed, gently floated back to the ground.

Then, in 1980, they reported that St Stephen's Tower (the big clock tower on the side of the Houses Of Parliament in London, often erroneously called "Big Ben" which is actually the name of the giant bell with the off-key note) was going to be upgraded with a digital face. Thousands - from all over the world - contacted the BBC to protest.

In 1999 Auntie Beeb announced that the British National Anthem - God Save The Queen - was to be replaced by a "Euro anthem" and, what's worse, it was sung in German. Apparently, even Prince Charles' office was taken in by that one.

And way back in 1965, the Beeb conducted an experiment into "smell-o-vision", which many, again, reported was successful, claiming they actually could smell the odours from their TV sets.

Oh, but one can never forget The Great Grandstand Dust Up. In 1989, whilst Des Lynam was presenting, a heated discussion between two men was going on behind him. The discussion escalated and a full-scale fight broke out, whilst Des, apparently oblivious, continued to read his script. The whole thing was staged, but the clip often turns up on "bloopers" shows that believe it was real. I saw it myself on a show over here just last year.

Somehow, in comparison, filling the sugar bowl with salt in the work canteen just seems.. pathetic.

Still, have a happy Intelligent Design Day. And watch out for the fools..

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