There's nothing less funny than having to explain a joke, so I won't.
Instead I'll reflect on the varied responses to the April Fool's edition of the Woodinville Weekly and some lessons that may be gleaned.
It's a gross understatement to say that the past year has been tough. Many people are experiencing "news fatigue" after months of bleak reports and dread-inducing headlines. We did not want to contribute to that, but rather, do something fun and light-hearted.
The origins of April Fool's day are, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, "unknowable," but it's thought to share roots in ancient Rome's Hilaria festival. Versions of it are celebrated around the world, each with a different take.
In Scotland it's known as Gowkie Day. In France, the fooled person is called poisson d'avril, the "April fish."
In the day's playful spirit, we wrote about dog parks in which dogs may run free but children must be leashed, the high school changing its mascot to a fruit, and of course, the head of Trader Joe's deciding to bring his hallowed grocery store to Woodinville because of the numerous social media posts he'd read that requested it. Our intention was not to mock those who want a Trader Joe's or dog park — we want those things too!
The date of the edition said May 32 and the logo read "Voodinville Veekly." However, despite these clues, it's natural to ignore warning signs when we see something we want to believe.
The scourge of misinformation that runs rampant online is often fueled by the desire of its readers for it to be true, thus confirming their already held beliefs. It's human nature.
Whether or not readers agreed that the Trader Joe's article is funny, it serves as a good reminder to read past intriguing headlines. If something sparks your interest enough that you want to share it, maybe give it a scan through to make sure you really understand what it's about. The best headline writers in the world still usually can't tell the whole story in a handful of words.
For us here at the Weekly, we also were made to be April fish, in a way. We've learned not fall for one the classic blunders: Never go in on a joke about a new grocery store when TJ's cauliflower gnocchi is on the line.