California Imposes April Fools' Day Tax
Fake News written by on Sunday, April 1, 2007
SACRAMENTO, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA -- In a desperate bid to shore up the state's finances, Gubernator Awnuhld Schwarzenegger today announced that all April Fools' Day hoaxes, jokes, parodies, pranks, amusements, and other assorted forms of jocularity are subject to a so-called BULL, or Bogus Unit Laughter License, that must be paid within 15 days.
The new order, effective starting this year, will require a licensing fee ranging from $5 to $50,000 depending on the "context, hilarity factor, ability to pay, and the total number of people hoodwinked by the hoax."
"The hot air produced by bogus April 1st pranksterism contributes directly to global warming," said a spokesperson for the gubernator's office. "With this tax, we can mitigate the harmful environmental aspects of this dubious holiday, while also increasing our coffers to help pay for important initiatives, such as universal naptimes for children."
It's not immediately clear how the state will enforce the new tax. For that matter, it's not immediately clear if the new regulation against April Fools' Day hoaxes is itself an April Fools' Day hoax.
"This is getting way too confusing," said a constitutional law scholar at UC-Berkeley. "It's obvious that this tax is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. But at the same time, we all know that most political campaign promises are a bunch of BULL, so maybe a regulation against hoaxes is just what we need to clean up elections."
According to preliminary calculations, 623 websites pulled April Fools' Day hoaxes in which they claimed to be aquired by Google. The Humorix Vast Spy Network(tm), however, has not been able to identify any websites that plan to comply with the BULL tax, even though most of these sites are hosted in California.
"We're not worried," said the webmaster of OhMyGodPonies.com, which today announced a partnership with Google. Or maybe it was Microsoft. All of these stupid April Fools' Day announcements are getting rather tiresome. (Including the fake story you're reading now. And don't get me started about the proliferation of pointless parenthetical meta-comments such as this. (And why must reporters always insert their own biased commentary into every story, like this one?))
"We're not worried," said the webmaster of OhMyGodPonies.com again, hoping to get this reporter back on track. "The wind will shift from another direction tomorrow and the governor will completely forget about this idea."