Jokers worldwide anticipate April Fools Day, and Buffalo is not devoid of mischief.
2015 brought "news" of Justin Timberlake booking a show for Ralph Wilson Stadium, a wildly innovative biodome sheltering Houghton College, a Bills-Argonauts exhibition game and a few other amusing pranks.
What did Buffalo's trickster populace have cooked up for this year?
*CatHive, a revised BreadHive project
Summary: BreadHive, a local bakery window/production facility on the West Side, has released precise plans for a cafe-restaurant later this spring.
The four owners' business model has taken a furry twist, though, as locally sourced cats will take center stage -- not in the menu, but as prominent restaurant dwellers. See their Twitter account for more.
A more detailed quote from owner Allison Ewing: "Everyone knows that as soon as you move to the West Side, you are besieged by charismatic and hungry neighborhood cats.
"We intend to take advantage of the community's cat density by offering these critters a place to relax and bother people while they try to eat a croissant."
Rating: 7.5 plates (out of 10)
Rationale: BreadHive went all out, changing its Twitter name to CatHive, floating out the idea of a signature "saucer of warm milk" and a general beating down of Peter the Cat, a loathed feline of owner Elizabeth Dashnaw.
The rating would be higher, but I personally can't stand cats. (Owner Valerie Rettberg-Smith's idea of a Pug Cafe was far more alluring.)
*Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz plans The Grunnel
Summary: Mr. Poloncarz is a noted April Fools Day participant, and he didn't let us down in 2016. His office sent out a press release for plans of a $700 million "Grunnel," an underwater passageway to connect Grand Island to northern Erie County, also stemming from Black Rock Canal Park. Although it would employ 10,000 locals, the project would be one of the "world's longest completely unnecessary tunnels." Read the full release here.
Rating: 8 plates (out of 10)
Rationale: The press release is a good read, as the jokes run deep. Somehow, the G & T (Gnomes & Trolls) Mining Association has enough funds to dole out a grant, and even the "tunnel vision" pun wasn't too horrible.
Hysterically, Poloncarz's Twitter account mentioned that one media outlet called for an interview, and two others thought it might be true. Points deducted for the Fuccillo "Huge" inclusion, though.
Summary: Move aside, K-9 unit, drug-sniffing has a new hop in its step. Through its Facebook page, the Amherst Police Department gave Dusty, the new Narcotics Detection Rabbit, his moment in the sunshine.
His agility, small size
and tiny nostrils will provide an advantage in small, tight spaces over the incumbent (and well-meaning) canines.
Rating: 8 plates (out of 10)
Rationale: Dusty may not strike an imposing figure, but he sure is cute.
Summary: Well, last year's Bills-Argonauts preseason game was more believable. Through the Bills official site, team reporter Chris Brown penned nearly 1,000 words, with alarming attention to detail and an embedded practice video, on fan-favorite safety Aaron Williams's transition to the other side of the football.
Rating: 7 plates (out of 10)
Rationale: Hey, the Bills could use another wideout, and it did fool some fans! But no, this isn't real.
*Jim's Steakout to sell sub flavors in vapor form
Summary: Sure, they're a little late to the vape trend, but Jim's Steakout announced that you can literally -- not just figuratively, as before -- inhale your favorite subs.
Among the four flavors is the Stinger, the chicken finger-and-steak best-seller that has won the hearts of many a late-night eater in Buffalo.
Rating: 7.5 plates (out of 10)
Rationale: It made me want a Stinger more than it made me laugh, so I guess that's a success on the restaurant's behalf.
*Trader Joe's to close all 457 stores nationally due to dire financial problems
Summary: A Yahoo! News article had some Buffalonians in a panic on Thursday, as a report claimed the boutique grocer would close all of its stores, including the Niagara Falls Boulevard location, by 2017.
If you don't head toward Amherst often, Trader Joe's entered the local market in October 2013 and is a major competitor of Whole Foods, another specialty grocer chain.
Rating: 6 plates (out of 10)
Rationale: The score is higher because it actually fooled people (search "Trader Joe's" on Twitter), but it's a little cruel to release the news on March 31 (much like Houghton did last year). One thing is for sure: the rest of the nation adores Trader Joe's cheap wine and might not be able to survive without it.
Summary: In Sullivan's Power Take, he explains that he's come to the decision due to embarrassment over the size of his hands, excessive time spent with Bucky Gleason and the blasts of mean people on Twitter.
Harrington, on the other hand, has just had enough of the social media platform.
I have made the easy decision to deactivate this account. I don't want to engage any of you again. Sick of Twitter. #BuffaloAprilFools
— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) April 1, 2016
Rating: 8-8, or 7-9. Maybe a 6-10 sprinkled in. (wait, those numbers look familiar...)
Rationale: Who knew that Sully would open a pie shop? He and Melinda would mold a mean rhubarb.
Summary: Local food blog Buffalo Eats caught on to a hot rumor that Lloyd Taco Trucks is planning to debut a taco boat this summer, likely to serve those who enjoy Canalside concerts from canoes, kayaks or boats. Update: Lloyd's blog has details of the boat, plus future plans for a tank.
Rating: Depends if they have the Dirty South special on board or not.
Rationale: "That's not oil polluting the Niagara River, it's Rocket Sauce!" I'll sit the next few plays out.
Summary: A spoof of its popular Hayburner golden ale, local brewery Big Ditch unveiled the Clearburner, a see-through American IPA that removes all the "distracting elements" that get in the way of beer enjoyment. Here's a quote from Big Ditch head brewer Corey Catalano:
"Not only will you want to enjoy this beer with dinner or while out with friends, we find this beer so refreshing that we think it works well during and after exercise, and even after you've just finished brushing your teeth!"
*Mes Que stumbles upon valuable advertising real estate for El Clasico
Summary: The Hertel soccer bar posted the image below on Twitter, a very visible teaser for their showing of the scintillating El Clasico matchup between Barcelona and Real Madrid, two Spanish soccer powers, at 2:30 p.m. April 2.
Fellow April Fools mischief-maker Mark Poloncarz was given credit for permitting the design, which
was Photoshopped appeared on the county building at 25 Delaware Ave. No word on whether or not the Erie County Executive likes Lionel Messi.
Funny national April Fools pranks:
*Weather Channel moves to Celsius for temperature
*National Geographic will no longer photograph animals in the nude (glorious Tweet below)
— Nat Geo Photography (@NatGeoPhotos) April 1, 2016
Spot a funny, local April Fools joke that we missed? Email Ben Tsujimoto, who wants a doughnut-sniffing rabbit, at firstname.lastname@example.org