The Plastic Hippo

April 1, 2017

April fool

Cottingley Fairies

The art and elegance of successful prank should involve at least a little skill and any triumphant hoax, however improbable, should be able fool basic human life forms that have managed to evolve into something that is not quite a complete moron. Idiots will believe anything if it is presented with gravitas and a straight face but those with even the dimmest spark of rationality are more difficult to win over without the thought that however ridiculous the hokum might be, there is still a remote possibility that the ruse might actually be true.

Thus we have Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believing that cardboard fairies in Yorkshire were real and sections of the BBC audience believed that spaghetti grows on trees. It seems that Paul McCartney died at the height of Beatle mania, an alien autopsy took place at Roswell and corn circles were not extraterrestrial landing sites but the product of two bored blokes, four planks of wood and a few lengths of rope. Orson Wells was only fooling when he frightened the life out of radio listeners with his adaptation of The War of the Worlds, Piltdown Man once walked in Sussex and the Daily Mail proved once and for all the existence of the Loch Ness Monster in a famous but faked photograph.

For all these elaborate and vaguely plausible con tricks, there are many more that are so preposterously absurd that they would be rejected from the pages of Nostradamus, The Brothers Grimm, Old Moore`s Almanac and even the Daily Express. Here are some recent woeful attempts at hoaxes that no self-respecting editor would go anywhere near as even a primitive single-cell organism would spot a weak attempt at an April fool joke.

Team GB did remarkably well in the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and many successful sports had their funding cut as a result. Sports that take drugs had their funding increased.

A Muslim woman won the Great British Bake-off.

Prime Minister David Cameron is attracted to certain pork products and promises World War Three if the referendum he promised doesn`t finish off a non-existent threat from UKIP. Sadly, Cameron fails to persuade the electorate that he is anything other than an in-bred, corrupt pervert. The great British public vote to leave the EU with an overwhelming majority resulting in 100 per cent support for the Conservative Party. Cameron resigns and runs away leaving the way clear for Boris Nutcase to become Prime Minister. Sadly, Boris is thwarted by rival Michael Grovel and a cat fight between Andrea Loathsome and badger hugger Brian May. Without a vote being cast or any sense being spoken, May becomes Prime Minister and celebrates by playing the guitar solo from Anarchy in the UK on the roof of Number 10 Downing Street.

UKIP disappear.

A betting shop in South Wigston reported that a punter placed a bet on Leicester City winning the Premier League title. Reports that a second bet was placed suggesting that the Leicester City manager would be sacked by the owners as soon as it was realised that the title would not be retained were dismissed as fake news and just too stupid to be true.

The Labour Party disappeared.

The United States has elected an excitable adolescent in a man`s body who is easily taken in by conspiracy theories and hoaxes even as he weaves conspiracy theories and hoaxes of his own. With a majority in both houses, failing to repeal and replace Obama care as promised seems to be a double hoax because now the president who has a problem forming relationships claims he did not promise to repeal and replace Obama care. This might explain his attitude towards women. His former National Security Advisor is now demanding immunity from prosecution before he spills the beans on Trump`s roubles.

Article 50 has now been set in train and we have the intellectual giants David Davis and Liam Fox fighting our corner. Dear God have mercy upon us now and at the hour of our death. These two are incapable of negotiating with a chocolate covered raisin and throw in Boris Nutcase and they will be lucky to come away with their shirts and socks.

Perhaps the most ridiculous attempt at a hoax came from the Murdoch tabloid which went into default attack mode when a sniff of accountability was in the air. Worried at the prospect of Leveson Two, an extraordinary editorial was squeezed out using some strange version of peristaltic action to alert the population of the dangers of “a vindictive tycoon” controlling press freedom. An “odious millionaire” is attempting to fool us:

As Mark Twain (obviously Shania`s great granddad Samuel Clemens) once might or might not have allegedly said:
“It`s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Truth is dead and gone.

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