Cheers! Garmt for taking me in completely. I must admit that I have
moderated my attempts at humor since I posted "Missing Pages of 80 Days" in
April 1998, since that attempt was greeted with the reaction one might
expect from attempting to modify the Koran.
Garmt of course immediately spotted the date, 01-April-1998. Of course here
the actual text of the missing pages was made available then so one could
judge their authenticity directly. But has Garmt even offered us the sound
bites he promised with the Dutch interrogator? That would have been the
coup de gras, taking us in with a bogus sound recording. Garmt, my only
complaint is that you did not complete your "Joke" by letting us follow you
down the garden path completely, listening to your mumbled Dutch;but maybe
you could not fake the JV accent correctly. That would have been the fitting
conclusion to this elegantly crafted spoof.
On 4/4/06, Garmt de Vries <G.deVries~at~phys.uu.nl> wrote:
> Hi all,
> One last comment on the April Fool's joke I played on you, and then I'll
> let the subject rest.
> I have received many reactions, both through the forum and personally.
> Opinions on the propriety of the joke were divided: a majority felt it was
> a good hoax, even if they were taken in big time. I have also received a
> fair amount of criticism, basically saying that my trustworthiness was
> affected by the joke, and I shouldn't have announced the existence of the
> interview before 1 April (or even that I shouldn't have done it at all).
> This may be a cultural thing. In the Netherlands, it's quite common to
> announce some extraordinary event some time before 1 April, always in
> terms of "next Saturday" or "tomorrow". When the time is there, it turns
> out that "next Saturday" is in fact 1 April, and that the announcement was
> false. For example, some years ago, Dutch people were asked to point their
> cellphones to the east "early Thursday morning", in order to form a giant
> antenna that could detect the faint signal still coming from the Huygens
> probe on Titan. The announcement was all over the newspapers one or two
> days before 1 April, and it spread even more thanks to the internet.
> The tradition may be different in America. The fact that none of the
> French or Dutch victims of my joke have complained certainly seems to
> suggest so.
> Also, there's the fact that due to the time difference, the Americans may
> have read the "punchline" before 1 April as well. That's a pity, but it
> couldn't be helped. It was either that, or having the punchline come too
> late for the Dutch victims, and I didn't really have a choice anyway, as I
> had no mail access later on Saturday.
> As to my compromised trustworthiness: if people decide to doubt everything
> I say from now on, well, so be it. I guess most will recognize a joke for
> what it is, and either laugh about it or shrug their shoulders, and just
> get back to business as usual.
> I'm glad that so many people have had a good laugh, that's what it was all
> about, and if the joke has achieved that goal, I'm happy.
> I'll switch back to serious mode now.
> Yours sincerely,
Norman Wolcott, nwolcott2 at post.harvard.edu
Received on Tue 04 Apr 2006 - 17:23:36 IDT