Fri, Apr 02, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Flying mechanics lead April Fool gags in British press


Flying car mechanics, flavored newspaper pages and Labour Party election posters depicting the prime minister as a thug were among April Fool’s Day jokes awaiting Britons in their papers yesterday.

The Daily Mail reported that the Automobile Association (AA), which deals with emergency callouts to car breakdowns, had equipped its staff with jet-packs to fly over gridlocked traffic to reach stranded motorists faster.

Under an article entitled the Airborne Association, the paper said the launch of the company’s Rocketmen marked “the first time the AA has tried to go over the traffic rather than through it to reach stranded drivers.”

“The AA patrol van parks within a mile of the stricken member and the jet-pack pilot launches from the back of the van,” said AA future technologies strategist Dr Raif Lopol — an anagram of “April Fool.”

Meanwhile, the Sun proudly declared it had succeeded in creating “the world’s first flavored PAGE,” next to a blank, white square which contained the instruction: “Lick here.”

The paper invited readers to “test our page here and guess the taste.”

“We have exciting plans for multi-sensory branding of the Sun,” said a spokeswoman for the paper’s publisher, News International.

In an elaborate mock-up, the Guardian said the Labour Party was to use British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s “reputation for anger and physical aggression” in a new poster campaign ahead of an election expected on May 6.

This would portray the leader as a man willing to take on David Cameron, leader of the main opposition Conservatives, in “a bare-knuckle fistfight for the future of Britain,” the paper said.

Posters appeared alongside the article — one showed a photo of Brown scowling next to the phrase “Step outside posh boy,” while another pictured him grinning and saying: “I took billions from pensions wanna make something of it?”

“The Brown team has been buoyed by focus group results suggesting that an outbreak of physical fighting during the campaign, preferably involving bloodshed and broken limbs, could re-engage an electorate increasingly apathetic about politics,” the paper said.

The article was penned by one Olaf Priol — another anagram of “April Fool.”

Brown has recently been the subject of bullying allegations after a new book claimed he swore at advisors, turfed a secretary out of her chair for typing too slowly and grabbed a staff member by the jacket lapels.

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