Wednesday, April 1, commonly known as April Fools Day, is a phenomenon to which even the illustrious (and sometimes all-too-serious) Harvard is not immune. FlyBy has chosen some of the most prominent campus pranks this year to highlight, with details after the jump.
THE MOST CONFUSING JOKE was an email addressed to Weld residents from "Yard Ops." The e-mail claimed that a cockroach infestation had sprung up in Weld, and that budget cuts would force Yard Ops--as opposed to a legit extermination service--to handle the situation. The kicker? Residents were told that they should "please remove any used kitchen equipment, snack foods, dirty laundry, or other potential insect attractors from [their] room." Namely, staples of any college room had become an instant no-no. Or so some residents thought.
"I was pissed off for about 20 minutes before I realized it was April 1st," said Brian P. Eggert '12, an inhabitant of Weld. Some others indicated that the email was sent from what appeared to be a legitimate address, making the joke more believable than it might otherwise be.
But Jeremy Patashnik '12 said he was not fooled. "[The e-mail] made a reference to "'you have to clear out your dirty laundry from your room,'" the astute lad noted. "I figured a serious maintenance request would not ask that."
Yard Ops could not be reached for comment, so the actual source of the e-mail remains a mystery.
MANKIW MAKES A FUNNY: Ec10 czar Gregory Mankiw also got in spirit of April Fools, posting a fake entry on his personal blog. People would have to pay to read his online musings, he said, citing the economic downturn. Oh, and apparently the professor who served proudly under the Republican Bush administration is also joining his more liberal colleagues from Harvard Ec in DC on the Obama team.
JOVIAL GMAIL: And finally, Gmail (not a Harvard affiliated entity, but a crucial part of student life nonetheless) attempted an April Fools joke that left us all unimpressed. For those of you who didn't notice the bright red link at the upper right hand corner of your inbox, Gmail created a page for a new "Autopilot" feature that would create automated replies to receive email based on the user's own personal writing style. FlyBy is disappointed by the relative obviousness of the joke. Better luck next year.