April Fools’ Day is the best opportunity of the year to have a bit of fun and blame it on the occasion. In this blog post, Your Store Exeter looks back at some of the most memorable April Fools pranks in Exeter and Devon.
A few years ago, a macaroni penguin at a Devon zoo laid a precious, rare golden egg. Yoyo, a unique penguin, laid the egg at Torquay’s coastal zoo, Living Coasts. Or did it?
Bird expert and the zoo’s Executive Director Simon Tonge claimed: “The eggshell has a real golden sheen – it is rare but not unheard of.” Operations manager Clare Rugg said: “The metal in the shell can make it harder for the chick to break its way out of the egg, so we will need to keep a close eye on this one.”
Apparently, visitors flocked to the zoo to see the rare egg. One theory was that the penguin had consumed trace amounts of gold, brass or copper – penguins are attracted to shiny objects. However, it was later found out to be a bit of jest in honour of 1st April.
When a would-be bank robber raced into an Exeter bank branch demanding that terrified staff hand over money, a cool customer sitting reading a newspaper thought it was an April Fools’ joke and calmly walked over to the raider saying “It’s April the 1st, isn’t it mate? It’s April Fools’ Day”.
The customer grabbed the bag that the robber claimed contained a gun, but it turned out to be empty. The robber fled the scene but was later arrested. Not a good date to attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of canny folk!
Students making use of self storage facilities at an Exeter self storage outlet narrowly avoided getting into trouble when they secretly set up all their friends’ rooms belongings in a container they had moved from his room in a house they shared. The victim of the prank, it was revealed came home to find all his stuff gone only to be taken by the pranksters to his new “accommodation” in a storage container. Before complaining to the duty manager he even attempted to sleep in the storage unit to keep the joke up. Perplexed, the duty manager was on the verge of calling the police when the crafty students relented and confessed the truth – they had swapped the items themselves as part of an April Fools’ Day prank.
Thankfully the manager at the business and personal storage facility had a sense of humour and saw the funny side. He even helped the students box up their goods on the way to their new academic year.
A few years ago on April Fools’ Day morning, the people of Devon awoke to find the 60-foot bronze statue Verity on Ilfracombe Pier had kindly been given a pair of multicoloured leg warmers. The prank’s masterminds remain a mystery but the craze referred to as ‘yarn bombing’ had clearly arrived at the town. Locals loved the leg warmers and still hope the clever pranksters will strike again.
If you have a memorable April Fools prank that should be included in this list we would love to hear and feature it here! Contact us with yours.