April 1

(Not much language here.)

Once again, it’s April 1, April Fool’s Day. It’s hard enough to know what to believe on the net — there’s so much invention, satire, and the like — but it all gets booted up on this day (and its surrounding days). An old Peanuts, passed on by Billy Green:

Today brought a reminder (from Chris Ambidge) of one of the greatest April Fool’s jokes, the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest BBC broadcast of 1957. Panorama broadcast by Richard Dimbleby here, longer presentation (with complete text) here. It still makes me giggle.

This program inspired some imitators. The one I recall most vividly is the Dimbleby Pickle Farm:

On April 1, 1970 NBC reportedly paid tribute to the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest by broadcasting a segment about a farm where pickles grew on trees. One of the only descriptions of this segment is found in The Pleasures of Deception by Norman Moss:

On April 1st, 1970, on the National Broadcasting Company’s Huntley-Brinkley programme, John Chancellor did an item on that year’s pickle crop, with film of a dill pickle tree. He said he was reporting from the Dimbleby Pickle Farm.

However, the NBC archives has been unable to locate any footage of such a segment.

I recall the broadcast, especially since a friend immediately reported her amazement that pickles gew on trees.

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