I quite like April Fools Day. Don’t get me wrong, I get rather sick of people telling pointless little lies, packaging them up as ‘pranks’ and justifying it because of the day – that sort of thing stopped being funny back when I was a child. Actually, scratch that – it never stopped being hilarious, because it never started. “Oh look, your shoelace is untied!” I almost never have shoelaces, so I’m pretty sure they’re not. “There’s £5 on the floor over there!” Then why are you still here, tight-ass? If that were true, you’d be all over it faster than herpes on Nicki Minaj. “Oh look, you dropped your gay card!” Shut up, I keep that in my wallet at all times. It’s never hit the floor once, why would it now? Idiots.
However, all of this blatant comedic injustice is rescued heroically by those knights in shining tin-foil who actually understand the mechanics of a good prank. These are the people with the power to dupe millions of people all over the world all at once, and they pull no punches trying to do it. The bigger, the better – even the Whitehouse got in on it this year:
… Although clearly, in true political fashion, they aimed their joke at “the point of April Fools Day” and somehow managed to completely overshoot it. Eh, good effort though, I suppose.
But when the big boys get it right, it’s pretty frikkin’ awesome. So, in no specific order (I can’t pick a favourite here), here are five of the best from this year, in case you missed them.
#5: The Glass-Bottomed Plane
This is probably the least effective of this list, but I feel it deserves a spot for being such a plausible idea. Really, if this was announced on any other day other that April 1st, I’m sure I could believe it.
Despite the fact that I can actually imagine Richard Branson being mental enough to go through with an idea like this, however, I doubt it’d enjoy much popularity with the masses. I mean, look at it. It looks absolutely terrifying. I’m not a big fan of heights on a good day, so I probably wouldn’t get on that if you jabbed me with a cattle prod, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, but for adrenaline junkies and crazy people everywhere, the revelation that this was nothing more than a hoax must have been quite a letdown.
Then again, this is Richard Branson we’re talking about. Maybe the revelation that this was a hoax was a hoax in itself. Consider that for a moment.
#4: Minecraft 2.0
If you’re a gamer, then for you, Minecraft needs no introduction. It’s a phenomenon, and love it or hate it, you cannot deny it is deserving of its success. It is among the elite few titles which promote limitless possibilities and actually manages to deliver. So, imagine the hype that resulted when a new, bigger, badder version was announced, with a list of features that rivaled your wish list to Santa as a child.
Some of those features were pretty normal – tinted glass, new village building templates… OK, when I said “some” I meant “basically none”. The rest of the list can only be described as “pure bat-crap insanity”. Here are some hand-picked favourites of mine:
- Chickens are now classified as a Monster and are no longer a friendly Animal.
- Added new graphics setting “Ultra Realistic” with new patent-pending experimental 4D-rendering.
- Overfeeding animals may have a negative effect on gameplay. (I.E, they explode)
- Made redstone bugs spawn actual Redstone Bugs to assist with debugging.
The list continues. Also, you’ll notice that on the page linked above, there are numerous videos created by popular YouTubers who regularly play Minecraft on their channel, apparently testing a closed beta of the game that was handed to them specifically. Devotion of that magnitude to what is nothing more than a silly joke is truly admirable, and the general upset which resulted (you can probably find a lot of it in the comments of said videos) must have been a sweet, sweet taste. Mmm, pure misery.
#3: YouTube – The Contest Is Over
Google, the owners of YouTube, once again prove their mastery over April Fools celebrations with this wonderfully executed little gem:
It’s hard to think of the right words to use when talking about this. I always expect nonsense on April 1st, so I thought it was pretty obvious that this was a gag, but just by the comments on that video when it was first posted, clearly very few people were blessed with the perception I’m so fortunate to have. It’s pretty much dawned on everyone now that they were duped big time, but it’s amazing how many people bought it. If you’re willing to dig, you may find such gems as “OMG how dare they! they have no right to do this to us!!!!!” (I may be paraphrasing a little, YouTube commenters are rarely that literate), which prove that not only do these people think Google owes them something, they also probably don’t own a calender. Or common sense. Seriously, who would bother to sift through all of that content? Is that not blatantly a gag?
Whatever the cost, Google gets a pat on the back from me. Expertly done, guys. I particularly like how they involved people from popular viral videos of days past in this – it adds flavour, just like Mojang with their Minecraft 2.0 gag.
#2: Twitter Charges Users Per Vowel
I know what you’re thinking – given the quality of some tweets you see knocking about on Twitter, it’s almost like they already have started charging money for use of certain letters of the alphabet. But when it suddenly becomes official, it changes it from being incredibly annoying to being downright hilarious. Here’s comedienne Joan Rivers testing the new system out:
As you can see, Twitter were very fair with this, and didn’t impose the same restrictions on the sometimes-vowel “Y”, so it’s still possible to write something semi-coherent… Sort of.
Also, in a double-barreled show of good will and fairness, Twitter also announced in the above link that it will now be possible to increase the 140 character limit to a whopping 141 characters. The price of this feature is solely dependent on how popular the character you wish the 141st to be, so you never know, it could be cheap.
The beauty of this gag is the obvious absurdity of it. It just makes it all the more sweet to think that someone, somewhere, totally fell for this. If only there were some way to see what those people had to say? (You’ll probably have to dig through that to find the good ones – I really don’t have the patience.)
#1: Google Nose
Of course, Google make this list twice. Why? Because they’re geniuses. Who else could make millions of people all over the world try to search for and download the smell of success and snort it through their computer screens? Because that’s totally what Google did with Google Nose.
Just check this one out for yourselves. Bear in mind that this will almost certainly have got people leaning into their computer screens and desperately trying to catch a whiff of various smells, probably while at work or in an internet cafe somewhere. The other entries on this list will have doubtlessly caused some level of frustration, but none of them would have lead to its victims actually performing an action, demonstrating their gullibility to the world. It’s the perfect example of why you should always be aware of April 1st, and why you should always question everything that is “announced” on that day, lest you make yourself genuinely look like a fool.