Today’s Editorial March 31: A day for hoaxes

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, a day when many of us will be subjected to attempts various good-natured ruses.

Although the origins of the holiday are uncertain, April Fool’s Day was apparently first observed in 16th century France, and is now widely observed in most of the western world, by everyone from school children to mature adults.

April 1st is a day of practical jokes, fool’s errands, and wild tales.

It’s a day when Internet hoaxes are rampant and you can’t even trust some of the most trusted media houses or organisations.

A BBC television programme once ran a famous hoax about a Swiss spaghetti tree; New Mexicans for Science and Reason claimed in their newsletter that Alabama state legislature changed the value of the mathematical constant pi to the ‘Biblical value’ of 3.0; and the L.A. Weekly once printed an entire page of things to do on April 1st that suckered hundreds of people.

For more than a decade now, the Caymanian Compass has also observed April Fool’s Day by placing at least one fictitious story on the front page of the newspaper. This year is no different.

While most people look forward to our annual prank, some have taken offence, like last year when we ran a fake story about a prison planned for the Bluff in Cayman Brac.

Although the story clearly indicated it was false by the end, it fooled many people, and a question was even asked in Legislative Assembly earlier this year to the Chief Secretary to determine if it was still planned to build a prison in Cayman Brac.

To all those who would take offence to our ruse, we can only say: lighten up.

The famous American humorist Mark Twain once said, ‘The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.’

Certainly, it is probably foolish to take ourselves too seriously all of the time.

The best April Fool’s pranks are ones that make everyone laugh, especially the person who is the brunt of the joke. No one should be hurt because it.

So have some fun and think up a good hoax to play on someone tomorrow, but be on your guard, because someone might be trying to make an April Fool out of you.

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