We… well I, was thinking about launching an April Fools prank on here tomorrow to see how far it would spread (if it spread at all,) but these things rarely work well, and if they do, its the elaborate ones that do and I’m far too hungry to think of one of those. It got me thinking though of pranks that have been played out in this city. Below is my top five:
5) Save the Park, 2006. In 2006, more than 250k listeners to the RTE radio programme “Mooney goes Wild on One” were informed of impending government plans as per a report entitled “Amended Programme for Rail, Integrated with Luas; First Official On- line Report” to build a dual carriageway with ten metre high screening walls down Chesterfield Avenue in the middle of the park. It was announced protestors had arrived to demonstrate the abominable plans. Pity they didn’t cop the abbreviation of the report spelt out APRIL FOOL.
4) Icebergs on the Grand Canal, 1968. Not an April Fool this one, but an October one. October 1968 to be precise. JayCarax has an interesting piece on this here, that I’d only be doing an injustice in trying to re-hash for this piece. Just think of your average “Fairy Liquid in the fountain” trick times twenty.
3) Free train journey to Drogheda , 1844. An oldie this, but a goodie. Taken from Museum of Hoaxes;
During the final week of March, 1844 placards appeared all around Dublin advertising that a free train ride would be offered on April 1st to all who desired it. The free ride would ferry passengers to the town of Drogheda and back. Early on the first of April a large crowd gathered at the station. As a train began to approach, the crowd surged forward, eager to secure their free seats. But the conductors and overseers intervened to keep the people away from the train, informing them that no free ride was being offered. The crowd would have none of this, and a riot soon broke out. The paper reported the next day that, “The labourers on the road supported the overseers—the victims fought for their places, and the melee was tremendous.” The following day a number of people went to the police station to lodge official complaints. But the police dismissed all complaints “in honour of the day.”
2) Dolphins in Dolphins Barn, 2007. I’ve searched high and low, but the only reference I can find on this is from the dublin.ie forum. I remember reading it myself at the time and going “What?! That doesn’t makes sen… Oh.” Basically The Star (I think) ran with a front page of a photoshopped Dolphin’s Fin breaking the surface in the canal, claiming that a pod of dolphins had taken up residency. So ludicrous really but had me intrigued for… well, about twelve seconds.
1) Can I speak to Rory Lion please? 2008, Taken from spiegel.de.
Dublin Zoo has issued an appeal to the public to stop calling its switchboard. It warns people responding to text messages urging them to call people with names like G. Raffe, Anna Conda and Rory Lyons are falling victim to one of the oldest practical jokes in the book.
Unsuspecting people are falling for the ruse, which asks them to ring the Irish zoo’s number for an “urgent message,” signed by names like G. Raffe, C. Lion, Rory Lyons and Anna Conda.
“This is proving to be a very serious waste of our time and resources,” the zoo announced on Thursday, appealing to the public not to be taken in by the prank.
So simple in all it’s intricacies or lack thereof, but childish humour at its best. I can imagine myself doing it and barely being able to stifle a fit of the giggles. I didn’t do it though, I promise.
So, anyone remember any other great Dublin pranks? Remember tomorrow kids, DON’T GET CAUGHT.