Fooling

Story_squareWe called it Canal Street for a reason, even though its official name was Fletcher Street.

But it took a newcomer just one rainstorm to understand Canal Street, where water from the entire town met to form a rushing river from curb to curb.

As April Fools day approached one year, my staff at our little newspaper decided to capitalize. We wrote a story about Canal Street.

Canal Street, according to our account, had been selected to have a dam built to hold back the rain water. We described the benefits of blocking rain run-off.

We included a photo of a dam against a big lake to illustrate the intended project.

We had quotes from engineers and government officials, funding numbers and a project timetable.dam

A bold headline was pasted on the story and we published it, with a disclaimer at the end: “April Fool’s Day!”

The worst part about this was that nobody said a word to us after publication. Not one word.

After the initial disappointment, our staff debated. Did everyone get to the punchline and laugh?

Or, worse, did nobody read the article at all?

Or, even worse than that, were we the April Fools that year?

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