From the April Fools’ Day edition of my LawLawLaw newsletter.
[Editor’s Note: This note is from the April Fools’ Day edition of my LawLawLaw newsletter. I’ve been doing April Fools’ Day jokes for a long time, and I reference many of my past parodies in this issue. Believe it or not, there are always those who think that some or all of this is real, even when I include a long disclaimer like this. Why do I do these parodies? Well, Thomas L. Bohan Winston Churchill reportedly said, “It doesn’t take all types, there just are all types.” I am the type who enjoys this sort of humor. I hope you’ll enjoy this too, and I hope that you’ll forward this on to others. So happy April Fools’ Day, and enjoy!]
1. The Internet is not a company, and, as such, cannot go bankrupt.
2. Greenspan’s comments about “irrational exuberance” were made in December 1996, not recently.
3. Bush actually used the word “misunderestimate” but probably not “strategery”. The latter was used in a Saturday Night Live sketch.
4. You have probably received e-mail messages about a proposed tax on Internet e-mail. This and other urban legends can be debunked at Snopes.com and Urbanlegends.com.
5. Russell Johnson and Tate Witherspoon were characters on a Saturday Night Live skit in 1997, were the subject of our 1997 April Fools’ Day parody, and are frequently quoted in our parodies. Their “firm’s” tag line was “We get yo’ money!”
6. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the creator’s of MTV’s “South Park” and the animated movie “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.” In 2000, the song “Blame Canada,” written by Trey Parker and composed by Marc Shaiman, was nominated for (but did not win) an Oscar in the “best original song” category.
7. There is no such thing as an honorary patent. But David Letterman did joke about Bush as the “honorary president” after Bush received an honorary degree from Yale University.
8. Al Gore, in a 03/09/99 interview by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on 03/09/99 said “I took the initiative in creating the Internet,” which lead to much commentary on what Gore meant by this statement. If you are interested, you can search Google for the above phrase to find a bunch of sites with different perspectives on this issue.
9. Patents end with “claims” which legally define the scope of an invention, and claims frequently start with the phrase “I claim,” which is why Gore’s quotes above include the phrase “I claim,” and each claim is also written as one, long, frequently incomprehensible, run-on sentence, not unlike this one.
10. From the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction files, I wrote the story about Microsoft’s break-up five years ago! On April Fools’ Day 1997, I wrote a parody that was a “look back” on the year 1997. I wrote, as a parody, that Microsoft had been broken up. At the time I wrote the article, I don’t think anyone was seriously suggesting that Microsoft should be broken up into separate companies. In the last five years, not only was an antitrust lawsuit brought against Microsoft, but the very remedy I joked about was actually proposed. Five years later, the government’s case against Microsoft has still not been resolved.
11. Congress has not proposed anti-parody legislation, but you can view pending legislation on the THOMAS web site.
12. Tom Daschle is a Democrat (D-SD).
13. Trent Lott is a Republican (R-MS).
14. The phrase “oddly worded but neatly typed” is from a Dilbert cartoon about lawyers. I wish I knew which one!
15. The parodies mentioned in the legislation piece are some of the parodies archived on my web site.
16. Our 1999 Visa press release won an award from InternetWire as one of the year’s top press releases. Most wire services, much to my chagrin, prohibit parody press releases. Personally, I think the world would be better off if we all laughed a bit more. This parody and others are archived on my web site. You can use this URL in case Makeashorterlink.com files for bankruptcy.
17. This whole newsletter is an April Fools’ Day joke, the stories are parodies and/or satires, all stories poke fun at Democrats and Republicans alike, and I like Canada! My thanks to Rick Klau, my partner in humor, who helped craft many of these and other parodies over the years. My first son missed being born on April 1st by two days. Rick’s second son missed it by one day – yesterday! Congratulations, Rick! Happy April Fools’ Day!