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 Post subject: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:40 pm 
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Location: McKeesport, PA
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>College Papers Pay for April Fools' Issues
By DAN NEPHIN, Associated Press Writer<p>PITTSBURGH -- Being funny without being offensive is tough to do ... <hr></blockquote><p>No, it isn't.<p>[ April 07, 2004: Message edited by: jtogyer ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:36 pm 
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Location: Homebush NSW Australia
Confession time. When I was a student I did a prank story in October.
It involved reversing out the words white writing on black, scrunching it up, flattening it out and then applying a screen with a repromaster.
A little bit of Letraline to create a jagged border completed the set up for a wizard wheeze.
It went in the paper with a story about how the university's Purchase of Works of Art Commitee had bought it for $8000.
The result: howls of protest from academic staff who thought $8000 was good value.<p>[ April 07, 2004: Message edited by: Paul Wiggins ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 7:44 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Paul Wiggins:
When I was a student I did a prank story in October.
It involved reversing out the words white writing on black, scrunching it up, flattening it out and then applying a screen with a repromaster.
A little bit of Letraline to create a jagged border completed the set up for a wizard wheeze.
<hr></blockquote><p>That's easy for you to say.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:41 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by blanp:
<p>That's easy for you to say.<hr></blockquote>
To be old and wise, first you must be young and foolish. It lingers in the memory mainly because of the reaction. I should add that the university authorities took it all in good grace.<p>[ April 07, 2004: Message edited by: Paul Wiggins ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:43 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Paul Wiggins:
To be old and wise, first you must be young and foolish.<hr></blockquote>My college paper put out an April Fool issue in 1978. A lot of it was rather clever -- in particular the lead story about the college being sold to an Arab group -- but there was also a "sex test." I still remember one of the questions: "Have you ever had sex with a member of either sex while riding backwards on a motorcycle down U.S. 101 without getting bugs in your ass?"<p>A couple of years later, the paper was history. Amazing that it took them that long.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:14 pm 
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When I was a stringer for my college paper (I was just too busy to work on it for credit that semester, but I contributed an article every other week or so) the editor decided to give me a goofy title in the masthead each week. At first they were funny in a college campus sort of way ("Evil Little Gnome," "Greedy Little Capitalist," etc.) but one week I was billed as "Hates the Irish" (I don't, by the way).<p>This led to a series of campus meetings, the end of my friendship with the editor, and the imposition of a rather broad "hate speech" policy by the student government (aside from a few letters by irate faculty, the administration stayed out of it). A bad scene all around.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:22 pm 
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Location: Batavia, NY
April Fool's stories aren't just for college anymore.<p>A Western New York daily (not mine! published a front-page story April 1 about the introduction of helicopter tours at a local big-name restaurant. They had a photo of a helicopter landing and an "If you go"-type graphic. The photo was kind of cheesy, but the story was very matter-of-fact and didn't really tip its hat until the final graf -- on page 2 -- that quoted the restaurant's owner as saying, "By the way, April Fool's."<p>It was worse than bad -- it wasn't funny. And I was amazed a respectable newspaper would publish that. Or maybe it's more common than I thought?


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:27 pm 
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Location: The Lexington Avenue Spaceship
My college-paper-prank-gone-horribly-wrong story:
This wasn't for April Fool's; it was just one of those random goofs that we would plop into the back of the paper somewhere when we were short on material. We were sitting around talking about the singing group Menudo (this was the late '80s), whose main claim to fame was that the youthful members were summarily ejected and replaced when their voices changed. The end result was a sort of "Behind the Music" interview with a fictitious ex-Menudo member giving the usual tales of woe -- drugs, homelessness, etc. We thought we were poking fun at the idea of a band whose members were kicked out upon hitting puberty, but then, thanks to the several dozen angry people who trooped through the paper's office the next day, we learned that we were actually perpetuating negative stereotypes of minorities (Menudo's members are from Puerto Rico). I suppose we could have gone after New Kids on the Block, but then we'd have run afoul of the Irish American lobby.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:09 pm 
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My college paper also ran the following announcement at the end of Ramadan one year: "Ramadan is now over. Go pig out! I mean, go hog wild. Er ..."<p>This was in 1997 or so. Oddly, it provoked not nearly as great an outcry as the aforementioned "Hates the Irish" bit. It would probably be met quite differently today.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:16 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
When I was a stringer for my college paper (I was just too busy to work on it for credit that semester, but I contributed an article every other week or so) the editor decided to give me a goofy title in the masthead each week. At first they were funny in a college campus sort of way ("Evil Little Gnome," "Greedy Little Capitalist," etc.) but one week I was billed as "Hates the Irish" (I don't, by the way).<p>This led to a series of campus meetings, the end of my friendship with the editor, and the imposition of a rather broad "hate speech" policy by the student government (aside from a few letters by irate faculty, the administration stayed out of it). A bad scene all around.<hr></blockquote>Yikes. I remember that, for some reason. Perhaps it was immortalized in one of John Leo's columns. I'll have to look.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:19 pm 
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The problem is that any objection to an April Fool's story tends to position the objector as "not having a sense of humor." Very seldom does the story or photo in question really have to do with humor; more often it has to do with the perpetrator not having the taste and elan needed to pass it up.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:38 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SusanV:
Yikes. I remember that, for some reason. Perhaps it was immortalized in one of John Leo's columns. I'll have to look.<hr></blockquote><p>You do?<p>Goodness. If it received attention outside of Sarasota, Florida, that is news to me. Please tell me if you find any record of it.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:29 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
<p>You do?<p>Goodness. If it received attention outside of Sarasota, Florida, that is news to me. Please tell me if you find any record of it.<hr></blockquote> Well, now I'm puzzled. I haven't been able to find it, but I would have sworn I'd read about it at the time! I'll keep looking. Matthew, what year are we talking about?


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 Post subject: Re: 'Funny' as in peculiar?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 12:25 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by SusanV:
Well, now I'm puzzled. I haven't been able to find it, but I would have sworn I'd read about it at the time! I'll keep looking. Matthew, what year are we talking about?<hr></blockquote><p>I'm pretty sure it would have been the spring of 1998. The college paper in question was The Catalyst at New College of Florida (then known as New College of the University of South Florida).


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