5. Never Change Homes Without It (2004)
April 1, 2004 came right after it was decided cell phone users could keep their phone numbers when switching plans. National Public Radio ran a report that day stating that the government would soon allow people to also keep their zip codes when moving out of town. This was supposedly being done to allow Americans to feel at home no matter where they moved to. Callers flooded the station’s phone lines wanting to know more about the new program.
4. Musical Vegetables (2002)
In 2002 Tesco, an extensive chain of British food marts announced the arrival of a genetically-enhanced carrot that would never be over or undercooked. Years of scientific carrot research, they announced, had now rendered kitchen timers obselete; this new species of carrot grew natural holes in its stalk, all engineered to grow in just the right places, that would whistle like a teakettle when the carrots were done cooking. This was said to be just the beginning of a string of Self-Timing Vegetables that would soon be available. You’d be suprised how many people asked store empoloyees where to find the groundbreaking “whistling carrots.” Hell, I would buy one.
3. The Cure for Rover’s Sexual Dysfunctions (2000)
In 2000, a Florida newspaper did a bit on the soon-to-be-released Viagra for Pets that snagged a few pet-lovers’ eyes. Researchers confirmed that our pets – the dogs, cats, birds and even hamsters that brighten our home – do in fact suffer from feelings of sexual tension and inadequacy. But no longer must Fluffy suffer; the new pill turns thoughts like “I haven’t had sex for a month, am I that unattractive?” to something more positive and self-appreciating, thus relieving the tension associated with sex. “Turn your guinea pig into a horny pig!! Act now!!”
2. Those Fish Aren’t Drunk, They’re High (2000)
On April 1, 2000, PETA proved that its members really are pot-smokin’ hippies when they threatened to sedate and inebriate the fish in Texas’s Lake Palestine, the site of an upcoming local bass-fishing tournament, by releasing powerful tranquilizors into the lake’s water supply. This would naturally prevent the brutal and inhumane treatment of thousands of unsuspecting non-human fish during the event. Texas officials ordered a perimeter of Park Rangers around the lake to prevent the sabotage. Since PETA was just kidding, no tranquilizor-happy hippies stormed the lake, and the fish remained drug-free for another day.
1. Fast Food for Slow Customers (1998)
1998 was a huge year for the fast-food industry; it saw the release of Burger King’s “Left-Handed” Whopper. Or so the full-page advertisement in USA Today’s April 1 paper claimed. All the ingredients and portions were the same except that – get this – the ingredients were rotated exactly 180 degrees to accomodate the approximately 32 million Americans (about 1 in 7) who struggled with the insanity of being a left-handed person in a right-handed world. Not only did thousands of southpaws head in for their customized antidexteral edition of the always-tasty Whopper, but a few alpha right-handers asked when the right-handed version would be available.