Saturday, April 7, 2007

Shealy Makes “Best Dressed” List

I love a good April Fools gag.

Like the headline to this column. That’s a real knee-slapper.

If there’s one thing the news media has perfected, it’s pulling a fast one on the public for April Fools Day. Presumably, this is because they get a lot of practice the other 364 days of the year!

A small weekly newspaper can manufacture a hoax right along side the big boys. A good “gotcha” headline is a swell way to play a little practical joke on an entire town.

Over the years, we’ve published a few bogus headlines of our own. (Unfortunately, they usually have nothing to do with April Fools!)Some of these gags by the news media have become legends:In the May, 1990 issue of Golf Magazine, an article was published announcing that Augusta National had become a public course.

In 1998, Burger King published a full page ad in USA Today announcing the introduction of the “Left Handed Whopper”, to better serve the 32 million southpaws in America.

The April, 1998, issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter reported that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the 'Biblical value' of 3.0.

In 1984, the Eldorado, Illinois, Daily Journal, announced a contest to see who could save the most daylight for daylight savings time.

I frankly always thought the best April Fools joke of all was the annual gag by the Charleston Post and Courier telling about that city’s upcoming cultural and arts festival called “Spoleto”… until, of course, I realized they were serious!That’s why April Fools Day isn’t really catching on with the new generation: It’s becoming increasing difficult to tell the difference.

Once upon a time, I could have gotten a giggle with “Hey, your shoe’s untied. Hey, your fly’s open.” But you say that to a high school kid these days, and they say, “Dude! What’s your point? Stop hassling me!” Or try the old standard of super-gluing a quarter to the floor. Like any teenager in the world is going to take the trouble to bend over for a quarter! “Hey!!! There’s a bug in your cereal?” Won’t work. They don’t eat breakfast anymore.

As a matter of fact, nothing you say is going to work, cause they all have those Music Players plugged into there ears all the time.

But, the fact is, I’m still a big fan of April Fools Day. I like a good guffaw. I enjoy a chortle, I relish a chuckle, and I appreciate a hoo-haw!!! (I, for one, believe a clever hoax is a thing of beauty, like a work of art, or a fine wine. Of course, I am in politics.)

Bottom line here: I like April Fools Day.

I’m happy Congress made it an official holiday, and directed all banks, post offices, government offices to be closed.

Enjoy your day off.

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