Tuesday, March 20, 2007
April Fools' Day - Worst Hoaxes!
There have been April Fool pranks and hoaxes that have gone wrong. It is the magnitude and sensitivity scale of the hoax that makes it pleasant or unpleasant. Pranks should be able to make others laugh including the victim/s. Any statement or thoughtless action that hurts somebody, plays with their feelings and emotions or is mirthless are detestable on any first of April or April Fool's Day.

- A year after Ochoco creek was flooded and hundreds of houses were damaged in 1998, DJs at Oregon radio station KSJJ announced that the Ochoco dam had burst and there were strong chances of all the nearby areas being flooded. There was widespread panic and as people prepared to flee, DJs admitted it to be just a joke. Well, no one was amused by their prank.

- After his divorce, Randy Wood was still bitter with his ex-wife and decided to pull a prank on her and really managed to frighten her in the process. He called her up and asked her to come over, as he wanted to show her something. When she arrived there, she was terrified to see him hanging by a noose from a tree in his front yard. She immediately dialed 911 only to found out later that this fake hanging using a lineman's harness was only staged to scare her. Randy was fined with $1,000 and a year in jail for his prank.

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- Glenn Howlett working in the London City Hall rushed back from his vacation when he received the memo from his office that the deadline of the big report he was working on, was pre-poned and was going to be due early in just two weeks. Though, the memo was dated 1st of April, he could not guess that it was just a prank of his colleagues. He worked himself into such a frenzy and panic that he became susceptible to heart palpitations, collapsed from the stress and had to take leave from work. Too much of work and risk to his health made him file for an early retirement, only to realize later that the memo was just a joke. He later sued everyone for damagers forcing City Hall to ban his employees from pulling any more pranks.

- Saddam Hussein and his son Uday have been alleged to fool Iraqi citizens on 1st of April for four consecutive years from 1998 to 2001. Uday owns a newspaper known as 'Babil', which announced to its readers in 1998 that President Clinton had decided to lift sanctions against Iraq. Later, admitting this to be a joke was not a good enough consolation to those whose hopes had been built up high on the news. In 1999, the readers had to swallow the joke that the monthly food rations would be supplemented to include bananas, Pepsi, and chocolate. These 'jokes' were repeated in 2000 and 2001 respectively, which was enough to break the spirit of anybody living in desolate conditions and readily lapped up any dose of hope that they were offered.

- The Opinia newspaper was heartless enough to try to fool families waiting to be reunited with their loved ones that had been imprisoned in Baia Mare Prison in Romania for several years by announcing in April 2000 that the prisoners are finally going to be released. About sixty people traveled long distance to the prison to greet their near and dear ones only to be told that it was just an April Fool prank! Later, the 'Opinia' published an apology for not thinking of the consequences well enough.

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posted by Gerry at Tuesday, March 20, 2007 ¤ Permalink ¤