Things I Wish Were April Fool's Day Jokes but Tragically Are Not


It is time for the worst holiday of the year. Not Tax Day, nor Columbus Day, nor Talk Like a Pirate Day, nor National Pickle Day. The pestilence at hand is April Fool's Day.

This is not the first time I've ranted about the awfulness of April Fool's Day, and by golly, it will not be the last. I might run for office just to push some Marco Rubio-type daylight saving time legislation and become known as the Senate's colorful April Fool's crank. "Everyone has their thing," the others will whisper, shrugging. "Just let her have it. It's like Disney Adults."

Go ahead, put plastic wrap on your brother's toilet; enjoy the cleanup. My annual beef is with the corporate proliferation of unfunny pranks in a world already drowning in misinformation. The brands, they cherish April Fool's. Cauliflower Peeps, Velveeta skin care, Bud Light pizza seltzer. Last year, Teletubbies announced their own cryptocurrency, which -- I cannot stress this enough -- is completely believable in these times.

The first fake press release of the year arrived on March 23, a full 10 days early. These people really want to drag this misery out. What's more, the joke story is embargoed, media-speak for "please don't share yet." This company wanted the fake news held until a date of its choosing. The mind reels! Reels, the mind does!

Imagine the working hours involved in spoof announcements, the defeating follow-up emails, the metrics reports. No wonder people are resigning from jobs en masse. They must launder trash over and over, the way a raccoon cleans a pile of garbage. I am disconsolate!

Real life is absurd enough, as my legislation will clearly state. Let's review a few totally true things that might as well be April Fool's jokes:

The phrase "by golly." Chris Rock making that crack at the Oscars. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. The ensuing 37 think pieces on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. The discourse about the discourse about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

Changing gears, because you cannot take one more thing about Will Smith and Chris Rock, let's discuss giant squids. Their eyes alone stretch to the size of plates. They, perhaps, are cannibals. Instead of a tongue, they eat using a long organ dotted with rows of teeth. We do not need April Fool's jokes when the Kraken is real, by golly!


While we're here, basically everything about the ocean is unbelievable. It stretches more than 35,000 feet deep, or about 1,400 Airstream trailers. It's riddled with deadly black holes, monsters and viruses, and that's only the 20% scientists know about. Happy spring, the ocean wants to kill you.

Horned lizards can rocket blood from their eyeballs. How about that, Burger King? That's way scarier than Whopper-flavored toothpaste.

Harry Styles has four nipples, which is harmless and more common than you think. I support you, Harry; call me!

Um, what else? Oh, there's something known as a "rat king," which is when a bunch of rats accidentally get their tails tangled in a knot. The same thing happens to squirrels. The odds of a rat or squirrel king forming are slim, of course, much like the odds of me still bloviating about April Fool's Day as an octogenarian, registering my annoyance to anyone in earshot at morning senior coffee.

No, no, that's a fact.


Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram.

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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