Friday, April 1, 2022

A Jungle Reds Announcement, by Rhys Bowen



 RHYS BOWEN: I’m really sorry to tell you that Jungle Red Writers has been bought by a multi-national conglomerate. From now on we have to accept posts from politicians,  from the Kardashians, from the oil industry, from Elon Musk, even from Donald Trump. We’re all devastated, of course, but such a popular blog could not allowed to exist outside of big corporate America. So this will be the last sane and simple post you will be receiving. We’d like to resign but we are all obliged to keep up the facade of a happy, jolly female blog…


Okay. Now check the date.

Fooled you, didn’t I? Of course, it’s April Fool’s Day. Most of the time it passes by unnoticed these days. There is so much strange and scary stuff on TV that nobody can handle any more. But I can think back fondly to a few good April fools of the past:

When I was in school we had one very absent-minded teacher. So her home room and ours changed places for the day. She called the attendance roll without noticing that none of her students were actually in the room.  (a worse April fool’s joke was when someone put vaseline all over the chalk-board. They were made to stay until they had removed it and it wasn’t easy).

I think the BBC usually tries some kind of clever April Fool’s joke. I remember from my childhood a serious newscaster reporting on the bountiful spaghetti harvest. It showed women in colorful Italian costumes picking long strands of spaghetti from trees. It fooled a lot of people too!

My favorite personal April Fool’s triumph. I was on book tour, back in the days of Constable Evans. I told the audience I was going to read from the new book. I started off:  The night was as black and as slick as a sea-lion’s backside. I had Constable Evans stumble into the pub and there on the floor was Betsy’s sprawled body, half-naked.  The audience had grown really quiet, shifting nervously in their seats.  I paused. Before I go on, I should remind you what the date is today…

More silence, then they all burst out laughing.

So who has a good April Fool’s joke to share? And of course...

56 comments:

  1. It's April Fools' Day! Wishing you a day that's ‘fool' of fun.

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  2. Good one, Rhys! I can't think of an April Fool's joke, alas. And, no fooling, I'm awfully glad you haven't been the victims of a hostile takeover. If you had to start accepting posts from the people you listed, I would have to bow out and go elsewhere!

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  3. Ugh, I am not one for April Fool's Day or jokes, sorry.

    Didn't T.S. Eliot write his poem starting with the line "April is the cruelest month"? I think that first line is fitting since he wrote his famous poem in the aftermath of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

    Here in Ottawa, our cruel April has Mother Nature teasing us with almost summer-like days followed by a few more snow days.

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  4. Sorry, Rhys. I didn't even finish reading your first sentence and I knew what this was!

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  5. I opened today's blog and thought I'd entered an alternate universe like the "what if Hilter won the war?" books.

    Good prank of switching the students in that teacher's class! Was another teacher in on the joke? I think there are still many people who would believe the spaghetti prank. Look at how many people watch Fox news and believe all that s#*&!

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    1. Judy, yes, that feeling of an alternative universe....

      Rhys, I wondered if the other teacher knew...

      Diana

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  6. Rhys, this is wonderful! Reminded of Orson Welles's Halloween prank, a fake news broadcast that whipped listeners into a frenzy, believing that Martians had landed in New Jersey.

    I never appreciated April Fool's Day until I hung out with Jerry who elevated *goofy* to a fine art. One April Fools Day, when I woke up in the morning he told me there was a fleet in the toilet. When I went to look, sure enough a four tiny folded-paper boats were floating therein.

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    1. so funny, what did you imagine the fleet was?

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    2. Your Jerry was a rare treasure, Hallie!

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    3. That Orson Welles broadcast threw so many into panic!

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    4. Hallie, Jerry could obviously elevate a prank into a work of art. Literally!

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  7. That was a good one, Rhys.

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  8. Today's joke is waking up to unforecasted snow on the ground after yesterday's 50 degrees.

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  9. CD - our snow is not yet on the ground, but they say it's coming. Ugh.

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    1. Oh, you're in Buffalo. Spring lake effect on April 1st. That is cruel. The weather has no shame.

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    2. No, I live near Pittsburgh now. Oddly enough, my son went to Olean this weekend and I don't thing they have any snow. We got a wave of snowy-rain, but fortunately nothing stuck to the ground.

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  10. One of the local papers always does an April Fool's- a story that's a little crazy but just logical enough that it could absolutely be true. Of course, if you know what you're looking for the joke article somewhere states the author or interviewed as "Lirpa Loof."

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  11. So funny, Rhys! If I wasn’t thinking about it being April Fool’s Day when I opened the blog, I would have certainly been wondering what the heck.

    I do think that April Fool’s Day has lost some of its zing since so much has happened that’s been crazy over the last decade here.

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    1. I think we’ve all had enough of being perpetually shocked and scared, don’t you!

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    2. Definitely yes, Rhys. We had enough of being perpetually shocked and scared.

      Diana

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  12. Good one, Rhys, but you didn't fool me--the REDS would NEVER sell out!

    I can't think of any good ones I've pulled over the years, but there've been some good ones when the TV news then early internet picked up on the idea. But my favorites have always been the science ones--not that I can think of any of those, either, this early.

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  13. This is a fun post, Rhys. We all need the extra laughter. After walking in 61 degree temps yesterday morning, my husband and I walked through a snow squall this morning. So I guess Mother Nature was tuned in to the day.

    I have worked in offices most of my adult life, and I've seen some cute pranks there. One of my favorite was a trickster who put cellophane tape over the button under the receiver on everyone's desk phones. Then as people came in and sat down, he would call them, so they would experience trying to answer their phone and having it still ring. (I always appreciated the fact that he did those calls right away, so no one actually had that struggle when there was a real business call on the line. In fact, the fact that the whole prank was so benign is what made me like it so.)

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    1. Good one, Susan. This reminded me that my grandson put sticky tape inside the salt shaker and watched John getting annoyed that nothing was coming out!

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    2. Even better -it was a salt shaker that he bought for us because our salt “came out too slowly” from the old salt shaker. It was priceless watching him begin to show us how much better salt came out of the new one - and nothing happened!My son has a wicked sense of humor.

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    3. John is not easily fooled, so that made it doubly funny, I bet!

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    4. Clare and Rhys, that is hilarious! Did John laugh when he realized he'd been pranked? Remember Candid Camera? Most of those pranks were hysterically funny. I was a kid when that show was on and our family always watched together!

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  14. Why do I feel as though we've all just had a close call? I shoulda known it was a prank!

    The first of April is one of those times when I miss having kids at home, and cracking up at what they thought fooled us.

    My/Steve's best is often looked at as a little cruel, but our daughters still talk about it, laughing. Easter Sunday was on the first of April that year. The night before the girls were wild and excited and would not settle down to bed, for some reason, so they slept really late. When they got up, expecting to see Easter baskets, we convinced them that they'd slept through Easter. Then we said "April Fool's!" and produced their baskets.

    I know, bad parenting. Ha.

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    1. Karen, it was not cruel. Not when there really were Easter Baskets after all!

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    2. I have to admit that we laughed and laughed, and still laugh, 25 years later, at how short a time it took to convince them that they'd slept more than 36 hours.

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  15. Well, Rhys, you scared me just with that first sentence, and I’m not easily fooled! I didn’t even get to the second sentence for a little bit!

    Right now I can’t remember any particular April Fool pranks. I do remember that at the place where I worked when I first graduated from college, there was someone in another department who annually tricked his secretary into placing a phone call for him and asking for Mr Baer or Mr Lyons, and it was always a zoo!

    DebRo

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    1. DebRo,

      LOL. Asking for Mr. Lyons or Mr. Baer at the zoo. Laughing here.

      Diana

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  16. Good one! I didn't believe it for a second, but I also didn't remember that it's April 1. I love your idea of whole classes switching and the teacher not noticing. My twin sister and I switched classes a couple of times, until Margaret got in trouble because Miss Tomlinson thought we were trying to cheat on a test. I'm not sure we did it on April 1, but we might have. NPR used to air some creative April Fools stories. One I remember quite vividly was that the Boston Celtics were changing the pronunciation of their name to "Keltics". I listened to the story and was puzzling about how this could possibly be true.

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  17. Rhys,

    This made me laugh. That's funny and sad about Constable Evans finding Betsy's dead body. I have been seeing posts on social media asking to PLEASE DO NOT JOKE ABOUT PREGNANCY because 1 out of 4 women struggle with pregnancy. I decided that with the exception of Jungle Reds, I am steering clear of social media (no FB no IG) on April's Fool Day.

    Reading a good book today.

    Diana

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  18. You had me going for half a sentence, Rhys! Good one!

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  19. I was thinking about the spaghetti harvest this morning, Rhys. Your announcement felt on the same level. So glad y'all are not having to do product placement (drinking a coke here) each day to make the corporate ghouls happy.

    I can't remember any April Fool Pranks. I did post about using soft boiled eggs when Easter coincided with April 1st a few years back.. Glad no one took me seriously. Karen and Steve were more creative. Hope no one got pinched on St. Paddy's day, and no one gets Fooled today. On to Beltane right?

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  20. My brother always used to tell me there was a spider on me, and I would shriek, absolutely every time! Every time!
    And then one year he called me on the phone and told me there was a spider on me, and I still shrieked and fell for it!
    I have to say that I think April fools day is not funny. Why is that? I also never liked to watch I Love Lucy because I did not like when she was humiliated. Maybe that is connected. :-)

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    1. It's funny. I'm not usually a fan of "embarrassment humor" as I call it, but I Love Lucy is one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

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    2. It was Freud, I think, who said that a joke is a kind of violence. Funny is too often mean and so much depends on perspective. I've never liked I Love Lucy or The Three Stooges because it looks to me like humiliation, not humour.

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    3. I think the Oscars this year showed the end result of cruel jokes. Wouldn't it be nice if insult humor became as out dated as minstrel shows?

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    4. Ah, the difference between humor and cruelty . . . it's a tricky one, as we've seen, and probably why I've heard that comedy is harder than tragedy.

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    5. Your responses are all so reassuring… Thank you thank you. I so agree. Xxxx

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  21. I look forward to all the happy posts by our new corporate overlords.

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  22. One April Fool''s Day when I taught school, the entire school shuffled the teaching staff to new classrooms. We all laughed and had fun, except the kindergarten class who had the sixth grade teacher. They clearly didn't understand, and spent the first hour crying.

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  23. I never did much except tell my mother I put sugar in her tea which she didn't use. When I worked at a bank, the other ladies were into it. Once they all hid so my boss thought he and I were the only ones in that day. Another time they rearranged the furniture in his office.

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  24. I once gave my students a "quiz" that was really a Mad Libs. About halfway through, someone figured it out. We finished, read a few variations, and all got perfect scores.
    I've also put up Snopes' "Mr. Ed was played by a zebra" on the Smart Board, and given extra points to the first to challenge it.
    Not on 4/1, but I did once have all my students go into the hall as we turned off the lights, leaving a student sleeping. Then we had the custodian go in . . . ;-) I also once gazed fondly at a sleeping student until all were paying attention, then quietly say, "My mother was right. They do all look like angels when they're asleep." Loud laughter awakened him -- guys just loved to sleep in class.

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  25. I was actually in England when they did the spaghetti harvest on the BBC, staying with a friend at her house in Lancashire. I thought it was too wonderful for words.

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