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Today’s the day for fish tales

March 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM

The State Journal-Register

It’s April Fools’ Day — a good day to keep the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin in mind: “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.”

Thank goodness April Fools’ Day isn’t during deer season.

There’s already enough foolishness inside deer cabins.

Having a day dedicated to tomfoolery would result in a complete breakdown of the limited social order that exists when the unwashed and unshaven are unsupervised.

This is the best day of 2011 to trot out your best fish tale. Add two or three pounds to the bass that spit the hook last summer. Today, that skimpy hatful of dried up morels you found last May can be 10 pounds or more. And, you can put a delayed April Fools’ fuse on the telling by drawing someone a detailed map of where you found them, making sure “X” marks the spot at the opposite end of the state park where the paltry finding was actually harvested.

On the other hand, this is not a good day to embellish last week’s trapshooting score, add a few points to the buck you’re having mounted, or bump up your hours at the gun club. Those things are too easy to check.

The good April Fools’ prank is imaginative and credible. It will be well told. It will be something people want to believe.

Three years ago, the BBC showed a video clip of a flock of flying penguins migrating from Antarctica to South America where they would spend the winter “basking in the tropical sun.”

Video footage of the newly discovered airborne penguins became an Internet sensation. Before the penguins flew too far out of hand, a follow-up video showed how a special effects team made them fly.

In 1976, astronomer Patrick Moore announced that on April 1, a rare alignment of planets would reduce earth’s gravitational pull. He told radio listeners that if they jumped up at the precise moment of alignment, they would experience a floating sensation. Hundreds of listeners called in claiming to have felt the phenomenon. One woman said she and 11 friends floated around the room. Who was April Fooling whom?

Probably due to the difficulty in getting there, Antarctica is a hotbed of April Foolery. Discover magazine reported that a renowned biologist had discovered a new species he named the Hotheaded Naked Ice Borer. This previously unknown animal could heat up bony plates in its head and melt through the ice, using this technique to hunt unsuspecting penguins by melting the ice beneath their feet. (Obviously these weren’t flying penguins.) The “hothead” article received more responses than any other article in the magazine’s history.

Regardless of what you might hear today, Dutch elm disease doesn’t cause redheads to go bald. Buckwheat is not the reincarnation of Kit Carson. And, skunks will not drop their tails and run when you charge them throwing rocks.

I am not an April Fooler. Today, you will be safe believing everything I tell you and disregarding the rest.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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