Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy April No-More-Jokes Day...

The more you love a holiday, the more depressed you are a day after.  Nothing worse than going to work on December 26th.  The day after the Super Bowl is awful because you just realized there's plenty more winter left but no more football.  Plus you're either hung-over or sick from the copious amounts of Crock-Pot cheese dip you ate last night.  July 5th, worst day ever.  Oh wait, that's my dad's birthday.  Sorry Dad, BEST day ever!  I hate the 4th of July because I'm just anxious to get to your birthday!  Yeah, that's it.

April 2nd is not quite as bad, but a little disappointing nonetheless.  April Fool's Day is the one day where blatant lying and unabashed tomfoolery are not only tolerated, but embraced.  I have such an active imagination that I'd love to just lie to people all the time.  As for the tomfoolery, well, I just wanted to use that word in my blog.  I love playing pranks on people, so April 1st is a special day.

If you're one of the six people who read my blog (thank you, by the way), you probably read about a terrible day that I had yesterday.  For the record, not one word of that was true.  A few of you figured it out, but a few of you just felt bad for me.  I have to say, it's kind of nice getting sympathy when nothing bad actually happened.

It was a tricky balance I tried to find with that.  Part of me wanted to write something completely outrageous, but I knew nobody would believe that.  So I wrote something that seemed plausible, but now people will read it and say, "that's not that weird, that guy's just a liar".  Sorry.

One of these days I'll come up with something really good.  Something like the story of Sidd Finch.  You may remember reading Sports Illustrated in April of 1985 (I don't, I'm just a student of history with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge), where George Plimpton wrote about the New York Mets' discovery of a pitching phenom who could throw a baseball 168 miles per hour (the previous record was 103) with pinpoint accuracy.

It was a great story about an English orphan who was adopted by an archaeologist who later died in a plane crash in Nepal.  The boy grew up, went to Harvard for a while, then traveled to Tibet to learn the ways of the "Great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa".  He became proficient in Siddhi, the mastery of mind and body, and subsequently mastered "the art of the pitch".

When he came back to America, Finch accepted an invitation to the Mets' Spring Training camp, where he pitched wearing one shoe, a hiking boot on the right foot.  At the end of camp, he told the Mets he needed some time to decide if he was going to pursue a career in baseball or his other passion, the french horn.

The story ran on April 1st, and on April 8th Sports Illustrated announced that Finch had held a press conference where he announced that he had lost the ability to throw with any accuracy and that he would not be pursuing his baseball career.  One week later, SI came clean, telling the world that the story was, indeed, a hoax.

Maybe the readers should have known, because the sub-heading of the article was "He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse.  Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd's deciding about yoga".  It didn't help me, but when you look back, you'll see that taking the first letter of every word in the previous sentence and putting them together, you get "H-A-P-P-Y-A-P-R-I-L-F-O-O-L-S-D-A-Y".  Genius.

The real beauty of the story was in how elated Mets' fans were at this pitcher who could throw a ball that one player said was not "humanly possible" to hit.  Thousands of letters flooded Sports Illustrated, wanting more information, and their disappointment must have been comical to see when they learned the truth.

A hoax like this in today's instant-information society would be difficult--almost impossible, really.  Almost.  Maybe someday I'll think of something.  And if anybody tells Snopes, we're not going to be friends anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, you got me! Should have known you would have been up to something on April 1st. Good one!