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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

'Fess-up time for today's April Fools prank

Just to be clear on some things...

1. There is no such thing as the U.S. Department of Public Health.

2. Reidsville does not have a deputy mayor.

3. Irving "Bud" Wombler is a fictitious character that I made up this morning.

4. Rockingham Regional Medical Center only exists in my mind, and will likely never be built in the Midway area.

5. Fritz Hippler was a real-life filmmaker who ran the Film Department of the Propaganda Ministry under Joseph Goebbels during the reign of Nazi Germany. I "borrowed" his name since this story needed someone likewise doing propaganda. And I'll admit that I liked the sound of the name. But other than that there was no other reason why I chose to use it, in case anyone's wondering.

6. The murals are not in any danger.

7. This whole thing was not meant to be a reflection at all on Reidsville mayor James Festerman, the mayors and city councils of the other towns in Rockingham County, or the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.

8. The two comments on the post were my own creation.

9. The federal goverment is not offering Rockingham County $180 million.

10. Finally: no one is going to take tobacco away from Rockingham County.

But in spite of those facts, a lot of people seriously believed this year's April Fools gag that I posted early this morning! How many? Well, two reporters from long-established news outlets contacted me wanting to do stories about Rockingham County banning tobacco and how the federal government was asking for the murals to be destroyed. A number of e-mails came in and I received an outraged phone call this morning demanding to know more about the "ban". Mark Childrey made mention of it on tonight's edition of Star News (he admitted to me last year that my previous April Fools gag that had Lisa and me joining the Amish had really convinced him) and a few others have written in or otherwise told me in person that they had bought this year's gag also, to varying degrees.

So all in all, this year's April Fools joke was an unexpected success! I'm not as satisfied with it as the Amish one last year, 'cuz I literally waited months to unload that one and the idea for today's only hit me this morning and it was finished in fifteen minutes. But still, I can't deny that this one was a lot of fun :-)


Anonymous said...

Hey Chris, What happened to the original post. It had me going all evening, then I said to my girlfriend around 930 PM, Wait this is an April Fool gag. LOL After I even had her believing when I told her about the story at suppertime. So I came here to comment at the original post now at 1030 PM ,after I realized it had to be a gag, and see you now say it was a gag. Realizing you were waiting for us to figure it out. Some things like a co-mayor and no smoking even in our own homes, blah blah, sort of turned my light buld on, after fooling me a couple of hours. Great gag, Chris. Maybe we trust you a little too much eh? ha ha Kidding. Keep up the good work on the SERIOUS topics. ---Brian

qemuel said...

Crap, crap, crap; I wish I had read the original post before reading this, because I'm familiar with Fritz Hippler. Funny though...