as a former professional satirist, i know that you can always make someone fall for something. as it's finally march, which means april fools day approaches us again, i'd like to share what i believe was the only good april fools joke ever: heavy table's "what's in prince's fridge". click that right now, read it, and then come back. heavy table is a reader-sponsored culinary online zine based in prince's home zone, minneapolis and they are absolute legends for this one.
now imagine it's 2011 and you read that post on april fools day, because that's the day it was published. would you have fallen for it? ignoring the date, likely - it's just funny enough and prince enough to be real - i mean, that guy was hilarious. at that time, dunkaroos were not in production and that just made it even funnier. so naturally, many people fell for it.
jennjourney (not an ai, just my own brain) prompt: copy and paste prince from that iconic fall photoset onto a high-res photo of dunkaroos
anyway, it was most definitely an april fools joke and so many fell for it. romper wrote about it three weeks later but added a note admitting they fell for it, which i honestly admired and you'll see why when i get to how other publications handled it. buzzfeed wrote about it 3 years later and of course they never corrected it, they would have if it was under buzzfeed news. by the way, non-news buzzfeed is virtually unreadable and that's not a stab at the writers, it's the fact that 90% of the content is embeds that are either all gone from their original services or blocked by ad blockers.
i looked up the price of dunkaroos and you can still buy an individual pack for $1.99. i still think that's so expensive in a world where arizona iced tea is still just 99¢. don't get me mcstarted on filet o fish prices when i don't even eat seafood!
the only thing funnier than media publications falling for an april fools joke is when they fall for it...five fucking years later. in april of 2016, prince sadly passed away and i can't articulate "why" right now (but we all know), a bunch of publications started reflecting on the part of his life where he did an interview with a local culinary zine and described the contents of his fridge–wait a second.
- cbs news "Remembering Prince's lighter side with a look inside his fridge" - yeah so cbs just has this post out there for anyone to read and believe, bless.
- eater "Prince's Love of Dunkaroos; Hillary and Bernie on a Soda Tax" - eater gives a brief mention that has remained unacknowledged since. just a week or so later, though, their twin cities vertical wrote about other publications that fell for the same post!
- page six "Prince’s taste in food was just as bizarre as you’d expect " - i mean, not surprised about this one. when i saw this, i immediately searched for "dunkaroos" on tmz and the ny post (they're all the same to me) and all i found was them reporting on the dunkaroos comeback, so i can neither confirm nor deny their part in falling for the heavy table post
- the daily meal "The Late, Great Prince's Taste In Food Was Just As Strange As You Might Expect - i don't know what the daily meal is but they credit page six for the reporting. but the way i am absolutely, literally lmfao as i'm doing this "research"
by the way, if you work at the daily meal or any other place that ADDS "READ MORE: [URL]" TO THE CLIPBOARD WHEN I TRY TO COPY AND PASTE THE TITLE OR ANY OTHER you're on notice!!!!
law and order: clipboard hijacking, starring ME
others fell for the post too but took the right approach: adding a note admitting they fell for it, just like romper had done 5 years prior.
- mental floss "Nothing Compares 2 Prince's Fridge" - this is my favorite title of all articles falling for the post.
- today "Off stage, Prince was a passionate and quirky food lover, too"
- vice's munchies "A Look Back on Prince's Love of Dunk-a-Roos and Mustard"
- delish "Here's Exactly What Prince Loved To Eat"
and then there's what i consider the biggest coward of the bunch:
- maxim "prince's fridge" - it's just not there anymore. this pissed me off! i can't get the wayback machine to render the page either, so if you can find the original please send it my way!!
i think there's something to be said about how "fake news" wasn't really a phrase we used 10-13 years ago, and deep fakes weren't really a threat either. the world is very different today and the stakes are way higher than prince having an incredible reputation for being a man of taste when it comes to mustard varieties and maple syrup. anyway, happy march and stay safe out there this april fools and beyond.