My favourite April 1 stories

Since I’m not usually very creative in my writing, and definitely not creative at this time of year (summer = migraines = a very grumpy me), I always enjoy reading other people’s April 1 stories. Our South African newspapers always used to have a couple of good ones. This year I could not find too many local stories. I think with the international financial crisis, and the recent natural disasters around the world, people don’t want to make fun of something that could be seen as being in bad taste. I can remember years ago (this was before the general public became aware of consequences of climate change), a local newspaper ran a front page April Fool’s story saying that within 30 years most of Cape Town would be below sea-level. These days nobody would find it very amusing because it could now become a reality should current climate change trends continue. [Amazingly, I found a copy of the article on my computer – I am a digital hoarder too!. You can read it here. I still think it’s very good as April 1 stories go.]

From The Cape Times - April 1, 2003

So, I’ve had to look for other sources of April 1 stories. Namely, my fellow bloggers. I’ve picked three stories which really made me laugh. I know I’ve let the “cat of the bag”, telling you they’re April 1 stories, but I don’t think they lose any of their hilarity. And of course, I feel I have to share. So in no particular order, here are my top 3 picks:

  • Laura from Unlikely Explanations wrote a post called A Change of Focus. Which should be read together with her follow-up post Challenge Recipe #1: Chicken With Gravy. Laura always has a funny and unusual take on things, but this is one of her funniest yet.
  • I like to read that section of the newspaper which features all the weird stories. Our local news sites used to have a special web-page for this, but having all undergone major redesigns in recent years, they seem to have done away with them. Now some of those stories land up under the Science & Technology page. I wonder why?! 🙂 One such story started on March 26th with the news that an Egyptian Cobra had escaped from the reptile house of New York’s Bronx Zoo. Some creative individual started a Twitterfeed (@BronxZoosCobra) which chronicled the escapades of the missing cobra all around New York. The anti-climax came when the snake was found alive and well, within the holding areas of the zoo’s reptile house i.e. it had not gone anywhere. With me so far? Okay, then on April 1 a post appeared on the Animal Planet blog called Bitten By Fame, Bronx Zoo Cobra Inks Documentary Deal With Animal Planet (thanks @JackieCangro for tweeting the link – I would have completely missed this otherwise). Not everyone found the Animal Planet contribution funny (apparently the thought of having a venomous snake on the loose in New York gave some people nightmares), but I did. I thought it was a clever (and timely) play on a story which had been developing all week.
  • David Robertson – a scientist who discusses anthropogenic climate change (i.e. the impact of humans activity – especially burning of fossil fuels – on climate change) on his blog a lot, and regularly takes on non-believers/skeptics, wrote a post called Watt? Really? Climate skeptic turnaround! As David is normally a serious science guy – and I usually believe everything he says! 😉 – I almost fell for this one. Obviously, the whole thing was wishful thinking on David’s part.

Did you come across any good April 1 stories? If so, please post a comment and share them.

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Categories: Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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15 Comments on “My favourite April 1 stories”

  1. April 5, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    We seemed to have no April Fools’ humor around here this year–don’t know why, but I look forward to reading the links you recommend. Thanks, Lisa! Hope you begin to feel better soon, my friend!

    • April 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      Thanks, Kathy! I don’t think that people are feeling that cheerful and inspired this year.

  2. April 5, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Awww — thanks for mentioning me. And thanks for pointing out the other two — I hadn’t seen either of those before, and they were both pretty funny.

    My favorite mass-media April 1 story this year was this NPR piece about a new technology that allows people to vie 3-d content without glasses.

    • April 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

      Well, I should actually thank you since you’re providing amusement for my readers.

      The NPR piece was very good!

  3. April 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    cant say i did this year…..but Daves one almost got me as well

    • April 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Dave said that he didn’t have the time to be more creative, but I think his piece had just the mix of absurdity and realism to fool people.

  4. jacquelincangro
    April 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    The cobra is still slithering up a storm! He’s introduced the hashtag #RenameTheZoo
    Here’s the latest:

    BTW – @bronxzoocobra has more Twitter followers than I do. And he doesn’t even have arms. LOL!

    • April 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

      Thanks for the update. I see that you also responded to @bronxzoocobra!

      This story provided so many good headlines, didn’t it? Like the “Missing cobra sinks fangs into Twitter” one on CNN, and “Bitten by fame” was also good. This story had just the right level of silliness to amuse me.

  5. April 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Naturally, I just had to hop on over to Laura’s blog – and giggled my way through several posts, so I’ve subscribed.

    Somehow, I completely missed the April Fool’s Day stories this year. I dunno what’s happened either, they just don’t seem to be getting as much media coverage as they used to?

    • April 6, 2011 at 7:49 am #

      Yes, Laura is funny. Have been following her blog since I first joined WordPress.

      Think most people are too worn out by all the “bad news” over the last couple of years, to think up funny stories. And the media might feel it’s in bad taste to joke around a lot. Did you take a look at the old Cape Times article? Now, that would not go down at all well today!

      • April 6, 2011 at 8:41 am #

        No, it most certainly wouldn’t! And definitely not for ME, because we live on the ‘Flats’ between the mountains, and our beautiful little cottage would be under water!

        A seriously sobering thought, isn’t it…

  6. April 6, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    What happens on April 1st? We don´t have a day for fool stories, a pitty, I love them!

  7. April 6, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    ~~I am hooked.
    love your blogs & adventures 🙂
    PS. more photos of your cat, please HA HA

    • April 6, 2011 at 7:56 am #

      Thanks for your kind comments! 🙂

      I’m not sure how many cat photos my readers would be able to stomach! I sneak one in every now and then. Thought of putting some more photos up on Flickr for very enthusiastic cat fans who are really interested.

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