David J Smith
David J Smith

April fool this, Mr News Guy!

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. The day when newspapers try to catch us out with whacky stories and tall tales. The day when fiendish hacks ply their wily trade to fool our pre-caffeinated brains. Sucking us in with official looking headlines, well-crafted copy and photoshopped images. Feeding us fantastical “facts” that have us reaching for the telephone, retweeting links and updating our facebook status with messages like: WTF? Can u believe that such and such happened??? And they do all of this in the service of an elaborate joke. So they can sit about in their newsrooms cackling away to themselves at how gullible their readers are. Sipping on their umpteenth whisky (because that’s what journos do in the morning, they drink) and marvelling at what a great prank they played on their silly audience. Well, not this time. No, sir, Mister News Guy, you won’t be catching us with your April fooling.

We will not be hoodwinked into believing a terrible tale of a youth leader who sang a song of death and mayhem to the farming folk. No, you will not get that one by us. Shooting a man for his profession, how ridiculous can you get? Especially a farmer, they grow our food and stuff. You’re going to have to try harder than that. Now, if you said he was out to get traffic wardens; that would be a completely different story. Yeah, we could almost buy that.

That’s if we were in a buying mood. But we ain’t. In fact, we’re not in the market for any of your bunkum. Not even a story of a wedding worth R80 million. You won’t lure us in with fanciful photoshoppery of a soiree to equal the feasts of Nero. We won’t be conned by mutterings of R1500 shots of whisky being thrown out for being too cold. Those are just the booze-addled fancies of a man (or woman) whose own sauce has run dry. There is no way in sober hell that you’ll fool us into believing that could ever happen in a country as pious as ours.

And if we’re not going to fall for your blinged-up whoppers, don’t think we will fall for your cheap celebrity porkies either. We don’t want no poppycock about how an Afrikaans popstar got in touch with his inner-cracker. Just because he sings songs about vrot pampoens doesn’t mean he is one. And a rapper turned kiddy killer that is named after a soft chewy fruit-flavoured sweet? That’s one lolly we won’t be sucking. Next you’ll be telling us Ricky Martin is gay. The song says she bangs, not he bangs.

Come on, we are rational beings. We’ve got logic popping out of our ears. Your whack-out imaginings of a president with 20 kids and an opposition leader pumped up on Botox are not going to fly. We’ve seen those lips and they are real. Helen Zille is all natural woman just like Pammy, Jordan and Dolly. So tomorrow, please, no stories about wild hippos eating men, crazies using babies for medicine, uncapped internet or ministerial palaces standing empty for the lack of a bed. Our BS radars are fully operational. Our scepticism nukes are armed and ready. We won’t be falling for your small-fry lies.