Thursday, April 02, 2009

Can't anyone take a joke anymore?

Wow, people are so gullible! Yesterday was April Fool's Day so you would think everyone would expect pranks galore! But apparently folks are still falling for the crazy, year after year. Case in point: a viral email clip showing the "first-ever flying hotelicopter" apparently fooled millions of people - with tens of thousands referencing it on Facebook and Twitter pages. The spoof advertisement featured a Russian-made plane with the tagline: "For the first time in aviation history, the luxury of a five-star hotel room can finally take flight."

And then there was the Improv Everywhere "best funeral ever" skit. I heard about it yesterday and immediately thought "Hee! It's gotta be a big April Fool's Day joke!" Turns out, I was right. But apparently even some news stations took the bait. Long story short, Improv Everywhere (which is a group internationally known for its prankster ways) said yesterday that their latest "mission" involved sending out 30 Improv agents to a random funeral, which was selected from the obituary section of the newspaper. From the Web site: "We picked a man who had very few surviving relatives and then showed up to his funeral to make it truly awesome." The Best Funeral Ever mission was staged for April Fool’s Day and the upset “family members” were all actors and friends of Improv Everywhere. Well, DUH! But that didn't stop a local news station from covering the event on the nightly news as if it actually happened. For those unfamiliar with IE, you should spend some time checking out their Web site. I've actually been a fan of them for a few years now, ever since I saw coverage of their awesome U2 hoax. That particular event entailed dressing up like the band and performing on a rooftop across from Madison Square Garden only hours before the real U2 was scheduled to perform there. They drew a substantial crowd before police caught on and detained them. Some of my other favorite IE skits include the annual No Pants subway ride, the Best Buy uniform prank and, of course, "The Moebius," where a group of agents carried out a short sequence of events in a Starbucks cafe every five minutes for an hour. I suggest you look these up on YouTube and watch them. Not only are they insanely entertaining, but I also like that they are not demeaning to viewers. No one, other than perhaps the actors, is made to look the fool. Finally, for all you Star Wars fans out there, ThinkGeek yesterday unveiled a "Tauntaun sleeping bag," a plush replica of the beast featured in Empire Strikes Back. According to the description, the sleeping bag includes a "built-in embroidered Tauntaun head pillow," "a glowing Lightsaber zipper pull," and "the exact synthetic compounds needed to recreate Tauntaun fur" all for the bargain price of $39.99. Too bad it's fake! But apparently so many people flooded the site looking for the item, ThinkGeek is now hoping to someday create a real one. This is their response: ATTN Tauntaun Fanatics! Due to an overwhelming tsunami of requests from YOU THE PEOPLE, we have decided to TRY and bring this to life. We have no clue if the suits at Lucasfilms will grant little ThinkGeek a license, nor do we know how much it would ultimately retail for. But if you are interested in ever owning one of these, click the link below and we'll try! So here's my belated April Fool's Day prank to everyone...go home and eat all the cake and ice cream you can find! It won't have any impact on your waistline!!

I jest. Har har. What's no joke, however, is this delicious, sucralose-sweetened Curried Turkey and Apple Salad recipe.

1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium apple, cut into chunks
1 pound roasted turkey breast, chopped into bite size chunks
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1. Place oil, curry powder and onion in a small saucepan. Heat on medium high heat. Simmer 1-2 minutes or until onions are tender. Add lemon juice, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener and salt. Simmer over medium heat approx. 1 minute or until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Add mayonnaise to cooled sauce. Stir well. Place prepared salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing until evenly coated.
3. Serve on salad greens. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped apricots.

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