Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools.... in China.

Today as you may have realized by now is April 1st. Now, I'm not sure whether the EU has jumped on the band wagon of April Fools Day but you know there's American participation when Google is renamed "Topeka" for the day. (Apparently, there's a town in Kansas that renamed itself "Google." Google, the company, just today returned their serve. 15 All.) There's a great site called groupon.com where you find dining, shopping, and spa deals in your neck of the woods and for today, they have a site called http://www.groupoupon.com/. (Just so you don't miss their first trick, channel the image of two stuffy white guys pulling up next to each other in Bentleys. The window is rolled down and one asks the other for some mustard. Of course, he has some! It's Grey Poupon!)

But all of these shenanigans got the little gears turning - what, exactly, do they do for April Fools in China? Now, I'm not just talking about the fact that they do their own thing for New Years - I'm curious because even search engines are censored in China. I have the impression that a stray bit of sarcasm might get you "disappeared" in The People's Republic. So, is April Fools completely off-limits in China?

This is the proverbial number-of-licks-to-the-center-of-a-tootsie-roll pop issue. I don't know any authentic Chinese nationals - I'm pretty sure my local guys at "Number 1 Best Chinese Food" and "New China" are not actually Chinese. So instead of dwelling on the "if," why don't we delve into the "what if!"

What if Chinese People Celebrate April Fools? Let's help them out with some censor-approved pranks! Here's a shortlist:

1. Switch your husband/boyfriend/father's underwear drawer with underwear two sizes smaller than they wear and watch as they struggle with their morning routine.
2. Serve green rice and white tea with breakfast.
3. Insist to everyone you meet that your name has been changed to Ping Pong and make them address you by your full name.
4. Overwrite your best friend's DVR'ed episodes of Iron Chef with Martha Stewart.
5. Set your boss's ringtone to "It's Business Time" by Flight of the Conchords. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGOohBytKTU if you're not familiar)
6. Setup an Outlook Auto-Reply referring everyone to your "personal assistant's" email address: noreply@yourdomainname.com
7. Include Heinz Ketchup and A-1 on your dinner table.
8. (Only for the technically advanced) Go to a nearby office cube and remove the phone jack prong thing (on the head of the cord) from the phone receiver and tape over just the last two copper wires. Then put the phone jack prong thing back in the receiver.
9. Send a mass email to your friends you're cooperating with Stephanie Meyer for an asian version of the Twilight series using Ninjas and invite them to the launch of the series that was two days ago at the hottest Beijing nightclub.
10. Dial up your favorite take out place (probably American food) and tell the person you answers that you don't want to order anything, you just want to catch up for a chat.

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