By the time you read this we will all have (hopefully) survived April Fool’s day, an occasion allegedly inspired by the Roman festival ‘Hilaria’ in which the main intention is to humiliate ones friends, family and colleagues in the name of fun. Hilarious.
Yes, I know I’m no fun at all but if I’m honest I take no particular joy in leading people down the garden path, much as I am a fan of a teasing remark, a smart riposte, a smartly-executed punchline or indeed a pun-filled headline.
I am a journalist after all.
But in my role I encounter fools every day, some not funny in the slightest. No my dear colleagues, friends and contacts – I’m sure it’s not you (honest guvnor) – but they are out there I assure you. So many exist, making more fools out of the ones that don’t deserve the accolade every April 1 seems a little off.
But embrace it I shall, while breathing a sigh of relief that our newspaper deadlines do not fall on the dreaded date.
Our newspapers (if maybe not our websites) shall remain 100% factual. Instead I have been sifting through the stories, trying to divide the priceless pranks from actual true things. It’s harder than you think.
The occasion of a man jogging stark naked through Morecambe with his dog and dangly bits this week seemed to immediately fall under that category. Were we being spoofed? Alas, 100% true.
David Cameron is related to Kim Kardashian? True.
Not so the ambitious plan for a water skiing service across the English channel, which on the face of it and sent days on advance of April 1, seemed entirely reasonable. I’m quite disappointed.
A high street bank’s plans for ride-through branches for cyclists also seems quite possible. But a prank.
Meanwhile the run-up to the General Election has put many a politician’s funny bone under strain, not to mention the voting public.
It’s hard enough to determine what is true, what is hyperbole and what is just nonsense as the warring factions battle for the hearts and minds of the public. April 1 just means spotting the truth is even harder.
More fool us.
This first appeared in Lancaster Guardian. Click HERE