Taco Bell Is to Blame for Two Decades of Corporate April Fools’ Jokes

The same food that assuages my mental health also apparently destroyed it
Taco Bell Is to Blame for Two Decades of Corporate April Fools’ Jokes

Today is April 1st. April Fools Day. Which means that any attempt to browse the internet and social media is going to result in inadvertent eye-twitching. At this point, it’s a bona-fide tradition for corporations to pretend their teeth arent stained with blood and do a funny prank on us. This, of course, sucks ass. Its impossible for a corporation to prank a citizen, because of the inherent power dynamic. Its like a cruel king wearing a funny balloon-animal crown on a visit to the gallows.

I cannot tell you the depth of the sigh that watching comes from Apple pretending theyre releasing a pet computer or whatever. Maybe its the fact that if they were really releasing something called the iBone, the production of said dog computer would involve child laborers landing in suicide nets. Obviously, none of this would happen if there wasnt an actual monetary reward that could be gained. So at some point, this must have worked, right? What revenue dragon are all of these companies chasing by joy-buzzing a generation that will never be able to afford a house?

“We have enough wheat! Just kidding!”

According to Alex Boese, curator of the Museum of Hoaxes, via the Seattle Times, that disastrous, profitable turning point might belong to Tex-Mex ulcer-slinging monolith, Taco Bell. In 1996, they released a full-page ad reporting that they had bought the Liberty Bell, and it would be renamed the Taco Liberty Bell. Unlike previous corporate April Foolings, which were mostly funny turns of phrase, or BMW saying they were introducing a badge washer, this one went full War of the Worlds. The government even ended up issuing a response.

The easy answer here is that a lot of people are very stupid. Just leaving it at that is too simple, though. Its funny, reading timely coverage of Taco Bell’s stunt, how much it reflects exactly why everyone hates this sort of shit nowadays. Namely, that the only reason its even a little bit believable is that the population spends every day acutely aware that an oligarchic leash is tightening on their throat. You cant make fun of people for believing that things might, in fact, be as bad as you made them!


“Hahahahaha. Get it?”

Taco Bell did issue a corporate apology, which is a phrase that makes about as much sense as “a sharp pillow,” and donated $50,000 to the preservation of the Liberty Bell. God, teasing about the fact that corporations have almost more power than our government and then topping it off with a charitable donation that mostly reminds everyone how much a life-changing amount of money is an easy expenditure for big companies? Theyre racking up squares in corporate fuck-you bingo. Especially when it paid off to the tune of an estimated $25 million worth of advertising and a $600,000 jump in sales on April 2nd.

They must have been overjoyed to realize that lying, something they were inherently already very good at, could be leveraged so effectively on April Fools Day. Now, were stuck forever rubbing our temples at fake announcements that Raytheon has debuted a new orbital potato gun or whatever.


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