From the Editor’s Notebook:
I have a lot of apologizing to do this week.
And, it is all because of one dumb story that I am forced to write each and every year. The hardest task as the editor of the Faribault County Register I have to do each and every year happens in March. In fact, I call it my own personal form of March Madness.
That impossible task is to write an April Fools Day story. And, worse yet, to make it clever.
It is a struggle. I have to think of an idea. It has to be far-fetched, yet also be totally believable. It needs to be weird, but not so weird that readers spot it right away as the April Fools story. After 50 years of having this tradition in the Register, our readers, like you, are getting pretty April Fools Day story savvy.
Many of you expect it. So many of you look for it, and easily spot it. Some of you old pros know enough to just skip the story and look at the end of it and check to see if it says it is, indeed, the annual fake April fooler story.
I can’t make it easy, but I am not supposed to make it too hard to find, either.
So, to all of you who told me you were shocked because you could not find any April Fools story in last week’s Faribault County Register and figured I either forgot to do one or else I finally refused to do one, I am sorry and I sincerely apologize. Because, yes, there was one. So you better go back and grab the paper out of the recycling bin and look again. I’m sorry you have to do extra work.
I apologize to all those who told me they figured the story on the front page was the April Fools story. You know, the story about the kids making a McDonald’s Facebook video promotion using a drone to deliver a fish sandwich to a talking Green Giant statue.
That was not the April Fools story, but I am sorry it was not. Once again, a real story in the Register on the week of April 1st was more like an April Fools story than the real fake one. I need to apologize for that. I wish I would have thought up a story as good as having some young men make a video like that, and then have the city respond with a possible no drone fly zone policy. I probably would have added having the police respond with the purchase of an attack drone which could shoot down any intruding drones with mini-rockets.
Now, that would have been a clever fake story.
But no, the Giant fish sandwich drone story was all totally true.
Just like the one year when everyone thought the story about Preparation H coming to Kiester to make a television commercial was our April Fools story. That year our April Fools joke was that the Preparation H commercial story was real and not an April Fooler.
Often times the real news seems like a joke and can be much funnier than whatever I come up with.
So the real fake April Fools story last week was the one on page three which was about a movie going to be made in Blue Earth and Easton based on the John Sandford book “Holy Ghost.” I apologize to all those folks who tried to dial the phone number at the end of the story to sign up as extras in the movie. But, I really thought the fact that having the number be 1-800-APRIL-FOOL was a dead giveaway.
I’m also sorry the story was not all that clever. And, I agree, it really wasn’t. It was a pretty poor effort.
In my defense, I had actually written a different April Fools Day story which was a lot more clever. However, at the last minute we discovered that something very similar to the faked story was actually a possibility of really happening later this year. So I pulled the story and quickly wrote a replacement one.
And no, I am sorry, but I am not going to tell you the subject of that original April Fools story. I’m going to keep it in reserve for next year, just in case it is needed.
It may not be needed. On the actual day of Monday, April 1, last week, with the Register already out in your hands, I had this really great idea for an April Fools Day story for next year. The best and most clever idea yet. I can hardly wait for next March of 2020 to write it.
Of course, with my luck, this great story idea will actually really happen, and then it is back to that story being held in reserve, or if not that, then perhaps something even worse.
I’ll apologize now, in case that has to happen.
Or in case next March rolls around and I will be saying to myself, “Now what was that terrific April Fools Day story idea I had last year?”