02 April, 2009

There's nothing good about April

I've been following Improv Everywhere since I was in high school. In case you don't know they're a group in New York that stage various pranks using flash mobs. They were featured on the tv version of This American Life after they arranged for a hundred or so people to attend a concert of an unheard of band. The band had expected for a few of their friends to show up and instead they had a packed house of people singing along with them and cheering. I always found their missions entertaining. Until yesterday.

I was going through my google reader and saw that they had a new prank posted. Here is the description that they posted.

For our latest mission, 30 Improv Everywhere agents found a random funeral in the obituary section of the newspaper and turned it into the best funeral ever. We picked a man who had very few surviving relatives and then showed up to his funeral to make it truly awesome.
I was shocked and appalled. How could they do something like that? The description and pictures made it worse. It showed only a few people at the funeral when suddenly thirty Improv Everywhere agents show up. The family is visibly confused and someone asks who they are. They only reply that they're friends of the deceased. They stay through the funeral although the photographer they sent was spotted by the priest and told to leave. As it ended one of the relatives chased down an agent trying to get an answer. I understood that the idea behind the prank was to make the family feel that their loved one had a lot of friends but it was all a lie and very disrespectful. If it had been one of my relatives I would have been fucking pissed.

After my initial outrage I went on with my day and forgot about it. Last night I was hanging out with some friends when one of them came across the YouTube video of the prank. As we watched it I explained the whole thing and expressed my anger that they had been so disrespectful. Everyone agreed and once my rant ended we moved on to another video. Then something clicked in my head. Shit, what day did they post this prank? We checked and it was dated that same day, 1 April, 2009. April-fucking-fools. The whole funeral was fake. I felt like an idiot for getting so worked up about it but I had to admit it was a damn good April fools joke.

It's amazing that I hadn't realized sooner that the damn thing was an April fools joke. All day at work I was reminded of what day it was. The six year olds I teach just couldn't leave it alone. "Daniel, there's a monster behind you! APRIL FOOLS!" "Daniel, I'm really sick and have to go to the hospital right now! APRIL FOOLS!" Great job guys, you really fooled me. Their jokes got old really quickly which is why when they came running up to me on the playground yelling about bees I ignored them.

"Daniel, there's a bee hive on the play-set! Come quick!"
"Yeah, April fools. I get it."
"No, really! There's a big bee hive with bees on it!"
"Riiiight. Bees. April fools. Nice one."
"Please come look! There really are bees!"

I reluctantly walked across the playground and sure enough, there was a damn wasp nest with two wasps sitting on it. Congratulations world, you made me feel like an idiot and an asshole in the same day.

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