ypsi’s little ‘war of the worlds’ moment

I haven’t had it confirmed yet, but word on the street is that Steve Pierce’s April Fool’s post on the “Ypsi News” site about our city having struck oil had some unintended consequences. If what I’m told is correct, at least one of our fellow townspeople showed up at last night’s City Council meeting hopping mad, demanding to know why we hadn’t been told of this multi-million dollar drilling operation. (In Steve’s post, he claimed that the oil wells had been built behind the abandoned buildings off of Water Street, out of view of curious onlookers.) As I hear it, Steve had to get up in front of all those assembled, apologize for what he’d done, and explain that, no, we aren’t suddenly swimming in black ink. As he’s been taping City Council meetings lately, I’m hoping that he’ll have footage of the incident up on his site soon… And this, my friends, is why blogs are evil.

In real Ypsi News, it looks as though three buildings on Michigan Avenue are going up for auction, the principal of Ypsi High has been forced out, and Mayor Schreiber has genetically engineered a new breed of upright-walking hairless opossum that lactate delicious cancer-killing nectar and poop out full-grown yuppies with good credit that want to settle in downtown Ypsi and start families. The only down side is that he has to feed them the flesh of children. (Sorry, I don’t have a link for that last story.)

update: The video is now on-line. To see the section in question, just jump to the 38-minute mark.

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  1. ol' e cross
    Posted April 4, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Jeez, Steve’s April Fool’s joke was long. He must have genuinely been amusing himself. Honestly, I find the A Fool post a little embarrassing.

    If there’s something evil about blogs, it’s how easily they let somebody keep going with a joke/story that no one finds funny/interesting.
    (Present company excluded, of course.)

    In a bar, somebody would have politely coughed a half-laugh and saved Steve a little face and 1600 words.

  2. johng
    Posted April 5, 2007 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It can be confirmed that UAW/TOP Local 1976 president, RAID, NAN local chair was inveigled by YpsiNews. Just for the record, nobody at the council table snickered…though there were some furtive glances as to who was going to let him in on the joke. Finally, Steve got up but I wouldn’t characterize it as an apology but any means.

  3. mark
    Posted April 5, 2007 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I keep checking the list of the top 100 April Fools hoaxes of all time, but so far it’s not showing up.

  4. ol' e cross
    Posted April 5, 2007 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I have to say, the other thing that’s evil about blogs (as opposed to bars) is that the next morning everyone remembers what you said the night before.

    Often, Steve rubs me the wrong way, politically and tacticly, but I apologize. Maybe no one else noticed, but I think I was a little harsh.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted April 6, 2007 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Oh John, you can’t even get a story about a hoax straight.

    When Mayor Schrieber asked for the next speaker at (41:03) I immediately stood up raised my hand and he called on me. If you listen carefully you can even here me say off camera. “I better” as I raised my hand.

    When I was called on by the mayor you can here a loud laugh that was from the audience and council that all were in on the joke.

    I walked up and began speaking around 41:15.

    John, what you said was not true about snickering, one council member openly laughed during the previous speaker, the camera mic was not sensistive enough to pick it up. However, the City’s recording probably did pickup the laugh.

    Two other council members were broadly smiling and one was biting their lip so hard I thought we would see blood.

    If anyone else didn’t get the joke and then forwarded on the story believing it was serious, I apologize.

    And yes the video is up on YpsiNews.com. (Click on http://www.YpsiNews.com and then follow the link on the right to Videos.)

    I apologized twice that evening.

    I was sorry that someone didn’t get the joke and then caused themselves embarassment for not understanding.

    I also privately apologized to the speaker for any embarrasment I might have caused him. It was never my intention to cause anyone personal harm or embarassment and for that I am truly sorry.

    However, lets not celebrate or belittle the previous speaker for a simple mistake. We all been taken in by a joke. But the jokes are never funny if you make fun of that person that didn’t get the joke, you are just being cruel when you do that.

    I also stand by my story as well as the proud tradition of April Fools Stories.

    Check out Google’s annoucement released the very same day. http://www.google.com/tisp/
    Welcome to Tisp. Sign up for our free in-home wireless broadband service

    On that same weekend, NPR Weekend Sunday did a story that ran at the 10:30 slot, about a New York City council member that wanted to ban ring tones to avert ring rage and had developed 4 ring tones that citizens must choose from. You can even download the 4 ring tones from the NPR website. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9210663.

    While the print story says it was an April Fools story, the broadcast did not which was 5:31 in length which was a very long story.

    We can all have fun on April Fools day, but lets remember, laughing or cackling when someone falls is not funny. Instead, even if it is your enemy or critic, extend a hand out to help then stand up. We can’t have humor without kindness.

    For real humor, sit down and watch the next hour and forty five minutes of council. Then at (2h:29m) listen to EMU student Candace give her insight on the council meeting. She got a much bigger laugh than I did.

    Finally, the Water Street story right now ranks as the third most popular story in the last 30 days behind the two about the city clerk resigning. From the hit report, people in over 20 countries have read the story. Of all the people that read it, so far three didn’t get the joke. One former Ypsilantian wanted to know when “Mayor Gardener” was mayor (that email was very funny). Another wanted to point out I misspelled Haabs not realizing that Ethan Nought and Bambi Heart were not real city employees either.

    In addition, one writer from EMU, who did get the joke, said I should have used the name Bob Bruno rather than Bob Blunder. That would have been a good choice had I remembered that Brunner was often times called Bruno at City Council meetings. So thank you to the fellow from EMU for the kind post.


    – Steve

  6. Hillary
    Posted April 6, 2007 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Excellent premise, Steve. I am a little concerned about our feral pig hoax now if 3 people didn’t get your joke.

  7. egpenet
    Posted April 6, 2007 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    … so nobody’s writing about the swamp gas and mysterious light show at night in the woods along Water Street? Huh!

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