2019-10-16 08:54 KST  
  RSS
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
JapanFocus
Bushfire Destroys Priceless Spaghetti Trees
The Australian fire service saves nearby dill pickle orchard
Eric Shackle (Shack)     Print Article 
Published 2007-04-01 12:12 (KST)   
A plantation of 57 spaghetti trees imported from Britain as seedlings in 1957 has been destroyed by bushfires. "It's a heinous tragedy," said Australia's Prime Minister. "We will all have to eat baked beans this year."

Exactly 50 years ago today, broadcaster Richard Dimbleby showed BBC viewers a documentary film of a Swiss family picking spaghetti from a tree and placing it out to dry in the sun.

  TODAY'S TOP STORIES
OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Technology Can Save Money, Planet
[Opinion] Iran Defends Peaceful 'Right'
Couchsurfing in Gaza
The BBC switchboard was swamped with callers wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best," they were advised.

It was a classic April Fool spoof. Since then, press, radio and TV around the world have hidden similar spoof stories among their genuine news items on April 1, causing amusement, annoyance or bewilderment.

So many weird but true stories are reported every day in the world's news that it's often next to impossible to pick the spoof.

Thirteen years after the BBC documentary show Panorama perpetrated the spaghetti tree gag, NBC commentator John Chancellor performed a copycat act in the U.S., with a fake report about America's remarkable pickle crop. He presented images of apple trees which he described as "dill pickle orchards" at the Dimbledor Pickle Farm in West Virginia.

In 1980, the BBC was at it again. It reported on April 1 that London's famous timepiece, Big Ben, would be converted into a digital clock. Predictably, there were many protests. Some callers wanted to know if they could buy the hour and minute hands of the old clock.

In 1994, America's NPR (National Public Radio) fooled its listeners by telling them they could win a lifetime discount on Pepsi if they tattooed the company's logo on their ears. Eager teenagers sought more details. Pepsi was not amused.

Two years later, another American company, Taco Bell, announced they had bought Philadelphia's historic Liberty Bell, which they would repair, rename it as "The Taco Liberty Bell" and use its image as its corporate logo. Thousands of people protested, and Taco Bell had to apologize in a press release.

"April Fools' Day has been a public gullibility test, even as far back as 1713, when the great satirist Jonathan Swift announced that an executed criminal would be returning from the dead to drink at a local pub," says Buck Wolf, entertainment producer at the U.S. Web site ABCNEWS.com.

"Swift noted that Londoners showed up hoping to watch the reincarnated man down pints of ale."
Sources:

Swiss spaghetti harvest
Mockumentaries
Bogus news was an April fools' tradition
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Eric Shackle

Add to :  Add to Del.icio.usDel.icio.us |  Add to Digg this Digg  |  Add to reddit reddit |  Add to Y! MyWeb Y! MyWeb

Ronda Hauben
 
Netizens Question Cause of Cheonan Tragedy
Michael Werbowski
 
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Michael Solis
 
Arizona's Immigration Bill and Korea
Yehonathan Tommer
 
Assassination in Dubai
[ESL/EFL Podcast] Saying No
Seventeenth in a series of English language lessons from Jennifer Lebedev...
  [ESL/EFL] Talking About Change
  [ESL/ EFL Podcast] Personal Finances
  [ESL/EFL] Buying and Selling
How worried are you about the H1N1 influenza virus?
  Very worried
  Somewhat worried
  Not yet
  Not at all
    * Vote to see the result.   
KOREA WORLD SCI&TECH ART&LIFE ENTERTAINMENT SPORTS GLOBAL WATCH INTERVIEWS PODCASTS
  copyright 1999 - 2019 ohmynews all rights reserved. internews@ohmynews.com Tel:+82-2-733-5505,5595(ext.125) Fax:+82-2-733-5011,5077