Sorry, no April Fool’s this year

Julie Knapp

I am probably one of the most gullible people there are.

About five years ago, I walked out of a Chinese restaurant with some friends from high school. While we were walking out of the restaurant, a car started, but no one was in it. I was worried, and my “wonderful” friends convinced me to go and tell the people in the restaurant that a car had started without anyone in it.

I did. My friends often laugh at the line, “excuse me ma’am. There is a car out there that started – and no one is in it.”

Apparently a man we knew in the restaurant decided to give me a scare, and just started laughing. Apparently, there are also cars these days that start remotely.

This practical joke wasn’t on April Fool’s Day, and many of the ones I’ve fallen for haven’t been.

April Fool’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, and I have learned many tricks of my own while in college. Two years ago, the Washburn Review did an April Fool’s edition. Some people thought it was stupid, others thought it had poor taste and others called it “they best piece of work ever done by the Review.”

We really wanted to do another one this year – just to bring back the fan base. Alas though, you won’t find one in this issue.

Upon searching the Internet for some great ideas for an April Fool’s issue, I stumbled upon dozens of blogs, media articles and stories of college newspapers being sued. Apparently April Fool’s Day issues are a big part of college media, and some are getting out of hand. The blogs called the special sections an embarrassment to journalism. Afterall, college newspapers constantly have to worry about credibility, and then when choose to make up a section of the paper – how does that help?

While I’m sure every precaution is taken, an article always offends someone. For example, in 2005, Drew University had produced an April Fool’s edition that contained a letter making fun of the administration for not considering a Pan-African studies major. The letter contained what some call racist and inappropriate language.

College newspapers try to build their credibility, but when they make a mistake like the one at Drew University, some don’t care because “it’s just a college newspaper.”

Some editors have chosen to print offensive articles because they know they can get away with it in a spoof issue, but I believe it’s a major abuse to the system that has been so generously offered to us.

We do have some pretty funny people on staff that could have produced a funny issue. I don’t want to risk hurting the opportunities that have been offered to us though, and I’ll admit, having Van Dalsem on the name of a lawsuit would probably taint my last five weeks here.