April 1, 1998: The Left-Handed Whopper - In 1998 Burger King
published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the
introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper"
specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According
to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients
as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.),
but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit
of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued
a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper
was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to
request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press
release, "many others requested their own 'right handed' version."
April 1, 1996:The Taco Liberty Bell - In 1996, the
Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell
from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty
Bell. Naturally, hundreds of outraged citizens called up the National
Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell is housed to express
their anger. Things only calmed down when Taco Bell revealed a few
hours later that it was just a practical joke.
1989: UFO Lands in London - On March 31, 1989 thousands of
motorists driving on the highway outside London looked up in the
air to see a glowing flying saucer descending on their city. Many
of them pulled to the side of the road to watch the bizarre craft
float through the air. The saucer finally landed in a field on the
outskirts of London where local residents immediately called the
police to warn them of an alien invasion. Soon the police arrived
on the scene, and one brave officer approached the craft with his
truncheon extended before him. When a door in the craft popped open,
and a small, silver-suited figure emerged, the policeman ran in
the opposite direction. The saucer turned out to be a hot-air balloon
that had been specially built to look like a UFO by Richard Branson,
the 36-year-old chairman of Virgin Records. The stunt combined his
passion for ballooning with his love of pranks. His plan was to
land the craft in London's Hyde Park on April 1. Unfortunately,
the wind blew him off course, and he was forced to land a day early
in the wrong location.
April 1985: Sidd Finch in Sports Illustrated - In its April
1985 edition, Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie
pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch
and he could reportedly throw a baseball with startling, pinpoint
accuracy at 168 mph (65 mph faster than anyone else has ever been
able to throw a ball). Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played
the game before. Instead, he had mastered the "art of the pitch"
in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the "great poet-saint
Lama Milaraspa." Mets fans everywhere celebrated at their teams's
amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated
was flooded with requests for more information. But in reality this
legendary player only existed in the imagination of the writer of
the article, George Plimpton.