St. Stephen — There shall be no pranks, no fun, no jokes and no puns in the small border-town of St. Stephen, N.B. on the first of April this year as Mayor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has immediately banned any and all April Fools’ Day activities.
“Jokes have no place in our town,” declared the mayor, who covered himself in a shroud in an effort to remain anonymous. “So, there will be no loosening the covers of salt and pepper shakers, no switching the sugar with the salt, no cellophane on the toilet seat, no prank phone-calls, no changing the time on the clock and absolutely NO switching my wife with a goat hoping that I won’t notice — I will notice this time.”
An extensive list of the ban, which spans 17 double-sided pages, can be found on the town’s website.
The ban will be in effect from midnight tonight and run for a full 24 hours, and anyone caught violating it will face a rather severe penalty.
“Jokesters will be dealt with harshly,” commented the mayor, using a voice-changing device while being interviewed over the phone. “Perpetrators will be forced to eat 11 pounds of the misshapen chocolates from the Ganong factory — the flavours nobody likes. And on top of that, they will be forced to say goodbye to their freedom.”
The Manatee asked the mayor if he was seriously considering prison time as a punishment for someone playing a practical joke.
“Oh no, something much worse,” responded the mayor, who was now communicating through ICQ to further protect his identity. “Anyone caught joking around, or even passing along jokes by sharing some stupid satire story on Facebook, will be forced to remain in St. Stephen for an entire year!”
St. Stephen residents were mostly in support of the ban.
“Jokes are no laughing matter,” suggested Martha Clifford, who has lived in the town all of her life. “I think we should all support this rule and maybe even extend it beyond April Fools’ Day, too. I would like to see us ban humour altogether, forever. We in St. Stephen should keep doing what we do best — being boring.”
Clifford continued to tell our reporter why she is so strongly opposed to April Fools’ Day pranks.
“My ex-husband played a joke on me once,” she recalled candidly. “He put some Saran Wrap over the toilet seat and there was pee everywhere — all over me and the floor. I filed for divorce the very next day. Some things you can turn your head at, like him sleeping with my sister and my mother, but that was too far.”
Andre Pollock, a local mechanic, was visibly confused when asked about the ban.
“A ban on jokes?” he asked with a puzzled look. “This entire town is a joke.”