04/01/2005: And because it's April Fool's Day....
It's time to dust off this link: The Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time. Because today is April Fool's Day, this site is being especially hard hit; be patient while the page loads (it'll be slow). First and second on the list (and therefore on the first page) are my two favorite hoaxes of all time, "The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest" (#1 on the list; I can't even think of it without laughing out loud):
In 1957 the respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in, and many called up wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. To this question, the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."and Sidd Finch (#2 on the list, and probably the best baseball hoax of all time):
In its April 1985 edition, Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch and he could reportedly throw a baseball with startling, pinpoint accuracy at 168 mph (65 mph faster than anyone else has ever been able to throw a ball). Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the "art of the pitch" in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the "great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa." Mets fans everywhere celebrated at their teams's amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information. But in reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the writer of the article, George Plimpton.Sidd Finch is also the subject of a feature in today's New York Times.
Once you've checked out the top 100 hoaxes, you may want to look into The 10 Worst April Fool's Hoaxes Ever.
Thanks to our friends at The Museum of Hoaxes for providing today's April Fool's frivolity....
Len on 04.01.05 @ 11:00 AM CST