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British Expat Newsletter:
1 April 2004

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: April fools
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Sponsor
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

This week

It’s our birthday! British Expat is four years old today. It seems hard to believe we’ve been going for so long, as the years have simply shot by. Many thanks to you all for your support over that time – we look forward to continuing to grow in the years to come!

It’s also April Fool’s Day (hmmm), and we thought we’d bring you a little something to celebrate. First of all, though, did you know that the custom of celebrating April Fool’s Day began with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar? Under the old Julian calendar New Year’s Day was always 25 March (Lady Day). The celebrations in France ran on for a week and a day, culminating on 1 April. But then in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII ordered the adjustment of the calendar, including making 1 January the first day of the year. Several people refused to adopt the new date and were dubbed “April Fools” for their obstinacy in celebrating the New Year on 1 April.

Right, on with the fun. Here’s a great Internet-related April Fool story taken from the Museum of Hoaxes (see our Virtual Snacks below):

Drunk Driving on the Internet

An article by John Dvorak in the April 1994 issue of PC Computing magazine described a bill going through Congress that would make it illegal to use the internet while drunk, or to discuss sexual matters over a public network. The bill was supposedly numbered 040194 (i.e. 04/01/94), and the contact person was listed as Lirpa Sloof (April Fools backwards). The article said that the FBI was going to use the bill to tap the phone line of anyone who “uses or abuses alcohol” while accessing the internet. Passage of the bill was felt to be certain because “Who wants to come out and support drunkenness and computer sex?” The article offered this explanation for the origin of the bill: “The moniker ‘Information Highway’ itself seems to be responsible for SB 040194… I know how silly this sounds, but Congress apparently thinks being drunk on a highway is bad no matter what kind of highway it is.” The article generated so many outraged phone calls to Congress that Senator Edward Kennedy’s office had to release an official denial of the rumor that he was a sponsor of the bill.

Our other story isn’t an April Fool, it’s just a straightforward fool. But we thought you’d be amused by it anyway. Apparently a Brazilian man was recently arrested after he lost two bags of marijuana at a bus station and asked the police to help find them. He’d been to get himself a beer and found that his bags had gone missing. Meanwhile the police had just found two unattended bags which stank of recreational herbs weighing nearly 125kg (20st)!

Virtual Snacks

Just a couple of suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day we thought you might enjoy looking at the Museum of Hoaxes. They’ve got a list of the Top 100 of all time here. What’s No.1? That most famous of pranks, Panorama’s spaghetti trees from 1957!
Museum of Hoaxes Top 100

On holiday, or wish you were? Want to send your friends a colourful message to cheer them up, or send your enemies something to make them jealous? Why not try our new eCards? They’re a great way of saying hello, and they’re free! Have a look at our current range below – we’re adding new ones all the time: British Expat eCards

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • the mirror newspaper website (5)
  • illegal to be drunk in a u.k. pub (4)
  • no letters in the word football (4)
  • tyranny of designer labels (4)
  • how to kill honeysuckle (4)
  • straits eclectic johor (3)
  • bonk (2)
  • why is my urine bright yellow (2)
  • flamenco dress (2)
  • how to please a penis (2)

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotation

“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”
– Mark Twain, author (1835-1910)

Joke

Two men are trying to measure a telegraph pole. They keep trying to climb it but keep slipping down.

Along comes a big, musclebound man who asks, “Hey, what are you doing?”

The two men say, “We’re trying to measure the height of this pole.”

The strong man wraps his arms around the pole, pulls it out of the ground, lays it down and measures it. Then he picks it up, puts it back in the ground, says, “40 feet,” and walks away.

The first man says to the other, “What a stupid fool – we wanted the height, not the length.”

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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