Monday, March 20, 2006

April 1 The Worst Day For Pranks

LA MESA, Calif. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – It’s no laughing matter: April Fool’s Day is the worst day to pull a prank.

That’s the word from hoax historian Alex Boese, who runs, a website dedicated to exposing hoaxes, urban legends and “other forms of B.S.”

He says April 1 is a bad day for media pranks because “any strange story gets extra scrutiny,” especially now in the fast-paced world of the internet.

In some ways, that’s sad, because Boese appreciates a “good hoax,” which he defines as something with a social purpose, such as the fake gypsy who protested the name of the “gypsy moth” because it supposedly maligned his culture.

But Boese has harsh words for bad hoaxes, such as fake bomb threats or women who turn themselves into phony abductees like Jennifer Wilbanks, last summer’s “runaway bride.”

Ironically, Boese not only writes about hoaxes, he engages in them himself. His online museum features pictures of a building that is supposedly the real museum of hoaxes and he claims he gets e-mails asking for directions.

Boese is the author on a new hoax history book, Hippo Eats Dwarf (Harcourt), which hits stores on April 1 – seriously.

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