Once a year, we enjoy a little goofiness while not taking ourselves too seriously.
It’s the most ... wonderful time ... of the year.
OK, OK, you’re right: the holiday season is probably really the most wonderful time of the year.
But The Observer’s April Fools’ season is a close second, at least for our team of reporters, editors and designers.
You see, we spend 364 days a year (well, maybe not all of us, all at once — we do have actual real stories to work on) concocting stories as funny and outlandish as possible while making them still just believable enough.
Like we said on page 4 of the March 28 edition, GOTCHA!
If you didn’t get that far, clearly you can’t take a hint — we pointed you in the right direction in more ways than those signs you face on the way into Tampa International Airport. OK, bad example, but you get what we’re saying.
If, if you didn’t find page 4, you might still think that officials are actually considering a “cover charge” for visitors on Siesta Key or Longboat Key’s coyotes are really a highly refined version of the common scrounger bent on living the good life after moving here from Michigan.
Enter Exhibit 1, a woman from Wisconsin, who emailed us shortly after the Siesta Key Observer and the Sarasota Observer reached readers: “What about visitors that stay on the island anywhere from a month to six months? My husband and I have been coming to Sarasota for over 40 years and we stay for three months every year. We are in our 60s and do not pose any sort of problem for the community. We walk and bike whenever possible and have enjoyed using the Siesta Key Trolley. I am concerned about the proposed charges that will be implemented as cars cross the north and south bridges. How will snowbirds be exempt from these charges as we come and go from the island?”
Not to worry, ma’am. All is well.
Consider Exhibit 2, a Nebraska man who also emailed us not long after the Longboat Observer was delivered: “I was very happy to read that our coyotes are a tamer, well-mannered breed. Along those lines, we would be very interested in adopting one of these spectacular animals. Does anyone know where we might be able to find one of these cute animals to make a permanent pet?” This writer also let us know that they figured out the joke, but only after reading deeper into Longboat Observer Community Editor Katie Johns’ hilarious story.
It’s easy to just scoff at us and call us “fake news,’’ but there was still plenty of that real, community journalism just beyond the funny. And don’t worry, we’ll keep it real again until next spring.
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