Today is the first day of April, which means that a) nothing you read on the Internet can be trusted, and b) everybody is trying desperately to outdo each other with ridiculous April Fools’ jokes. In fact, 2014 has already been a record-setting year for tomfoolery, with more than 3.2 million web pranks published so far on this day.
Had you going there for a second, didn’t we?
Here are 10 of the funniest April Fools’ pranks for 2014. So far.
Google gone wild
As we all know, April Fools’ Day is a holiday invented by Google to remind us that it owns the Internet and can take it back anytime it wants to. Also: It knows what kind of underwear you’re wearing. Seriously.
Because no April Fools’ story would be complete without several disturbingly well-thought-out pranks from Google — and because we would really like Yahoo Tech to show up in its search results someday — we’re including three of the better ones in our roundup.
Pokémon Challenge: Want a job at Google? All you need to do is hunt down Bulbasaurs, Charmeleon, and other Pokémon creatures hiding in the real world. You’ll also need the Google Maps app on your mobile phone and a working Poké Ball (of course).
Google Emoji Translate: Reading is so overrated. Now you can take any web page inside the mobile version of Chrome and translate most of it into smiling blobs and other emotive illustrations. It’s totally :-).
Snooze you can use
Here’s a Google spoof that didn’t come from Google. Created by Dutch app developer Kakhiel and design firm Venour, Google Naps uses the ad giant’s mapping API to display the best places for snoozing in public, including benches, beds, fields, and bridges. This is one of those faux products we wish was real. So how about it, Venour? You probably can’t use the name “Google Naps,” but we hear “Napster” might be available.
Smells like cheese spirit
With Cheeteau, Frito-Lay enters the pungent-yet-profitable world of designer fragrances. Based on the personal essence of Cheetos mascot Chester Cheetah, the scent has been described as both “buttery” and “deliciously cheesy.” And, yes, the company really did make this stuff; you can enter a contest to win a bottle here. Because who doesn’t want to smell like “a stinking lustful cloud of aged cheddar”?
From the St. Petersburg/Clearwater tourism office comes news of an extremely rare marine mammal, the manaphin: half manatee, half dolphin, totally adorable. The manaphin is “an aquatic herbivore known for its playful personality and a penchant for exceptionally clear water.” (Clearwater — get it?) The Sunshine Staters even built a website devoted to the manaphin, complete with photos, a video (that never loads), and audio of its haunting yet entirely fictitious cry. A Save the Manaphin campaign is already in the works.
Netflix takes a chicken and keeps on flickin’
This April Fools’ Day, Netflix brings us an instant family classic, Rotisserie Chicken, a mesmerizing 73-minute cinematic opus featuring a roaster slowly turning on a spit. In this “searing, chronology defying” ode to Benjamin Button, the eponymous bird starts out fully roasted, and then becomes less cooked over time. “Hilarious — it’s the new Yule Log,” says Deb Amlen, Yahoo Tech columnist. Rotisserie Chicken is rated G for gelatinous.
Masters of the You-niverse
As we’ve long suspected, YouTube reveals it is the mastermind behind the Harlem Shake, Rebecca Black, screaming sheep, and every other viral video meme since 2005. This year it’s offering a sneak preview for what it will create to annoy us in 2014, including clocking (people impersonating clock hands in public), butter fails, baby shaming, flash mob divorces, and the Glub Glub Water Dance. In a first for the video vixen, YouTube is asking the public to contribute their own viral ideas. Who knows what wacky things people will come up with?
Bill Clinton spoofs his wife
In a bit of high-profile marital pranking, President Bill Clinton used Twitter to poke gentle fun at his wife, former first lady/U.S. Senator/Secretary of State/perpetual presumptive presidential nominee Hillary. His profile photo is a dead-on replica of the iconic Air Force One image that turned into the short-lived Texts From Hillary meme. Clinton describes himself on Twitter as “3-piece suit aficionado,” “Bono impersonator,” and “meme appropriator.” We’re still waiting for his version of One Love.
Hair today, goatee tomorrow
You say your lifelong dream is to open a coffee shop for hipsters or become a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but you lack the required amount of facial hair?
Don’t despair. Just plant your mug into ThinkGeek’s Mr. Beard machine, and it will weave a face carpet of your choosing, from Fu Manchu to Freddie Mercury. The $150 beard weaver is just one of several Foolish items not really available from ThinkGeek, whose actual products are almost as strange.
Remember our motto: Won’t get fooled again. At least until next year around this time.
Questions, complaints, kudos? Email Dan Tynan at ModFamily1@yahoo.com.