How to Pull Off the Greatest Practical Joke Ever in Four Easy StepsOn September 5, 2018 by Elyse
Step 1: Infiltrate the West Virginia State Poultry Association’s chicken show. For the uninitiated, this is a big deal. The annual exhibit brings together “the best of the blue blooded aristocracy of the barnyard” and awards prizes “worth shipping stock a considerable distance to compete for.” With a sales pitch like that, I’m crushed I missed the January 1, 1916 entry deadline.
Step 2: Slip “a very valuable barred Plymouth Rock hen into the show.” Poultry experts, help me out: Why are barred Plymouth Rock hens barred (groan) from competing? I call fowl. It sounds like a discrimination case for the poultry division of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Step 3: Wait and see if Judge W. F. Auerswald notices.
Step 4: When he does, cackle maniacally and pat yourself on the back for a prank well pulled. The poultry association may not be amused, but you’ve made the day of the reporter assigned to cover the show. Sit back and enjoy his or her speculation on your identity and motives:
“It is not known to whom the bird belongs and it is thought that it was sent to the show for the novelty of seeing whether the judge would find it.”
. . . Did I say “greatest practical joke ever?” Apologies for the false advertising—I got caught up in the sensationalized writing of the time. I meant to add “in 1916.” Standards were a little different back then.
Still, the prank must not have ruffled too many feathers (I’m done, I promise), because the very next year, the show was back for its tenth installment, with planners declaring it would be “the greatest one in its history.” No exaggeration there, I’m sure.
Disclaimer: The modern era is far from the first to grapple with rampant “fake news.” As I am neither a historian nor journalist, I make no claims about the accuracy or lack thereof of the above historical articles. I assert only that they make for a good story.
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Subscribe to the Blog via Email
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018