'Fake news' the perfect stunt as April 1 approaches

Newspapers have been a great vehicle over the decades for those looking to have some fun April 1.

In 1977, The Guardian published a seven-page special section devoted to San Serriffe, a small group of semicolon shaped islands in the Indian Ocean. The two main islands were Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse, and the islands’ leader was General Pica. Phones rang all day with readers seeking more information about this idyllic holiday spot. Only a few noticed that everything about the islands was named after printer’s terminology.

In 1996, The Taco Bell Corp. took out a full-page ad in six major newspapers announcing it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Mayhem ensued, with preservationists up in arms. By noon, Taco Bell had issued a press release confessing to the hoax and announcing it would donate $50,000 for upkeep of the Liberty Bell.

In 1998, Burger King published a full-page ad introducing a new menu item, the Left-Handed Whopper, whose condiments were rotated 180 degrees to benefit left-handed customers. Thousands tried to order the sandwich before Burger King confessed to the hoax.

We’ve had our own fun on April Fools’ Day — or in the issue closest — dreaming up some fake news items as jokes. We’ve done so again this year and present the following with the disclaimer that our goal is not to inform but to entertain.

• In addition to eliminating the parking meters in downtown Hinsdale, the Hinsdale Village Board agrees to sponsor a valet parking service for residents who wish to patronize retail stores, spas and restaurants. The program proves to be too much of a liability when several cars are stolen after drivers leave the cars unlocked with the key fobs on the front seat.

• The Central boys tennis team loses at sectionals.

• Historic preservation commissioners, frustrated with the number of homes being torn down in the Robbins Park National Historic District, start chaining themselves to homes that are about to be demolished.

• Demand for the age-restricted condos planned for the old Zion School is so high that the developer decides to triple the number of proposed units and make them all studios. Prices remain at $600,000 to $900,000 per unit.

District 86 residents who have vehemently opposed diversity initiatives and called for the firing of Superintendent Tammy Prentiss return from spring break super chill and ready to support both.

• Tollway officials reexamine traffic patterns and learn that not everyone who commuted to work pre-pandemic is returning to the office. They abandon plans to widen Interstate 294 through Hinsdale and leave the over-the-road pavilion at the Hinsdale Oasis. It becomes home to a casino, a strip club and a roller rink called “The Tri-Skate,” and village tax revenues skyrocket.

• After residents learn the Brookings Institute and the Economic Policy Institute want to jointly open a new liberal preschool to indoctrinate future Democrats on the IBLP property, they decide Ryan Companies’ proposal for senior living on the site isn’t so bad after all.

• No one ever again utters the words “This is all just hearsay — you’d have to confirm it” after complaining vehemently about a local issue.

• Scientists discover drinking a piña colada in the sunshine will cure any existing and future variants of COVID-19. Life returns to normal.