So, peoples, how many of you had to dodge at least one April Fools Day joke today? Oh, really? That many of you? Today at work, I had to dodge a grand total of… wait for it… zero April Fools Day jokes. Which stuns me just as much as it did exactly one year ago today, when I talked about how much I don’t care for April Fools pranks. (It still amazes me that there were no pranks at work today; the staff is so jovial.)
But checking out the interwebs and dodging any pranks that came along, I checked out this news about those “merry” pranksters at Google. Apparently, Google loves to dish out a joke or two or several thousand on April Fools Day. This year, Google thought it would be funny, to borrow a line from Candid Camera, to add a “Mic Drop” button to GMail. For those not hip to the lingo, a mic drop is basically having the last word of a conversation, after which you take the microphone you’ve been speaking into (real or pretend) and drop it, thereby making a squealing PLINK BONG BANG sound once that expensive piece of audio equipment hits the floor. GMail made the mic drop a visual one, adding an option to each outgoing GMail to insert a mic drop GIF that would also archive the conversation into oblivion. Just who did they use to drop the mic?
That’s right, the Minions! Those adorable (or annoying, take your pic) characters from Despicable Me 1, 2, and their own motion picture spinoff. As you can tell from the above image, there was an unfortunate drawback: GMail users had to be careful not to click on the “Send + Mic Drop” button, which was right next to the regular “Send” button.
So, yeah, it wasn’t fun when those relying on GMail to send truly professional correspondences in their business work saw Minions dropping mics to the CEO, prospective client, or whatever; the result is lots of agitated feelings, misunderstandings, and maybe a botched sale or two. That wasn’t the end of it, however: There was reportedly a bug in the GIF that caused the animation to attach itself to any sent GMail correspondence, even if people were careful not to click “Send + Mic Drop.” Luckily, Google saw and understood the unfortunate mic drop error and the repercussions and pulled the plug on this exploding cigar later in the day.
Now, I have to say that I have GMail accounts for both my male and female sides. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to send any e-mails through GMail today, meaning I missed out on their April Fools debacle. At least give Google credit for fessing up on their error. In this internet-driven world, every mistake can be magnified a thousand times over, and sometimes the best one can do is pick themselves up, dust themselves off, offer a mea culpa, and move on.
When it’s April Fools Day, your best protection from being beaned by one prank after another is to know going in that it’s a joke. Such was the case, apparently, with Madison’s roller derby league, the Mad Rollin’ Dolls. I follow the Dolls on Twitter, and it was through their Twitter feed that I discovered this Facebook post from their travel team, the Dairyland Dolls:
I do not profess to be a roller derby expert, but skaters in roller derby block and grab each other in order to gain an advantage. The purpose of this photo was to “show off” a new set of “uniforms” for the Dairyland Dolls, complete with neon areas that show where to grab and block or whatever the skaters need to do to make their opponent move out of the way.
If you’ve seen roller derby, you can guess that a full body suit like what was shown above may not be very comfortable to skate in. Most skaters prefer to use something more comfortable to wear along with their safety gear (helmet, pads, skates, or whatever). Add all that to the fact that today was… well, you know what it was, and you can probably guess that this was a pretty good joke. The Mad Rollin’ Dolls did, and so did I. Which is why I feigned innocence and went along with the joke, as my retweeting of the Mad Dolls’ tweet demonstrated.
All in all, a pretty cool joke by the Dolls. Hats off to you, ladies.
Of course, the best way to deal with April Fools Day is to not get into the merriment. Heck, even swearing off the day is recommended. To that end, the A.V. Club website re-posted a web-exclusive 2015 video from Last Night Tonight with John Oliver. In the video, John Oliver really rails on the day, saying it’s nothing more than a day based on “lies and hurt feelings.” His best advice is to not do any pranks at all, and to that end, he has his studio audience and the viewers recite a pledge. It’s a pretty funny video, and I’ve taken the liberty of embedding it below. Happy April Fools Day, everyone. Now, behave!