April Fools Rear Their Ugly Head

8am today. I’m lying in bed, my alarm has just gone off, I’m contemplating getting up but it’s overcast outside and that always makes me sluggish. My phone rings, and it’s the ringtone for my Ohio relatives. I jump up to answer it because 1: they never call in the morning and 2: my grandmother is very sick (like, on Hospice care), and anytime they call me at strange hours I’m afraid it’s news about her.

My aunt is on the phone and she asks if I have an MP3 player. I say yes. She asks if I have any bootleg music on it. I say maybe. She says she’s listening to the Tom Joyner morning show and they’re warning people that if you have bootleg MP3s and you download another one, your MP3 player will blow up.

Now, let me pause here to point out a few things. The first being, as I said, I’d just woken up. I was fuzzy. Also, my aunt does not understand technology, really. So when she said the player would “blow up”, I didn’t think she meant that literally, or even that they’d literally said that. I figured they meant the songs would all get erased.

Anyhow, she called to warn me. I told her it was probably just some nonsense that record companies were spreading around to scare people about downloading (which happens), or perhaps it was a fake MP3 download that contained a virus (that could happen). She was quite concerned, and said that a caller had phoned in to say it happened to him on an old song he’d downloaded yesterday. “Fire” by the Ohio Players. The news was “all over the Internet” according to Tom Joyner. I told her that I’d be careful and hung up.

It wasn’t until I fired up my computer and checked my email that it even occured to me what day it was. And then I facepalmed… because what else can you do?

I wonder if Tom Joyner will clue his listeners in later.

This is a long way of saying that I’m officially outdone by April Fools this year, because I was up earlier than I wanted to be, have already had a slightly panicky moment, and now I have a headache due to how fast I leaped from the bed. (This did not stop me from sending out an April Fools silly thing to some friends, though.)

The whole concept of this day makes me roll my eyes. Actually fooling people about stuff is so 3rd grade. I rather prefer when people do silly yet real things on AFD, like the year we published the grocery lists of famous authors. That month we had more BNAs that F&SF! And the lists were actually pretty awesome. Why can’t more people be as clever as we were, hmm?