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falling for prince's fridge

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.

product photo showing dunkaroos and i pasted a photo of prince in a fall scene onto the bottom right of 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.

product photo showing dunkaroos and i pasted a photo of prince in a fall scene onto the bottom right of it 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.

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!!!!

screenshot of my markdown code trying to link to the daily meal post but the code is broken because they added "read more:" followed by the url when i just wanted the title of the article 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.

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.

xoxo jenn

this was published March 3, 2024 under laughing interviews satire music media