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Categorized | Featured, News

Fast cash

By Lois Allen

When I took over operations here at The Cedar Springs Post, I never thought this fledgling “small town” newspaper would make it. The joke’s on me!

That was over 30 years ago if you can believe it. Back then no one had ever heard of “fake news.” The Post actually invented it! Too bad we didn’t get a patent on that.

We don’t run fake news every week, just one week a year. The week falling on April Fool’s day. People loved it. And sometimes they didn’t.

Here we go again, celebrating the fools that we can fool.

Years ago, we decided to make it interesting, offering readers to join in the fun and make a quick twenty bucks. All you had to do was find the fake stories, call The Post at a specified time, be the first call to get it right and “bam,” you won twenty bucks cash!

We quickly discovered many folks were too sharp, and so we decided to make it more of a challenge by adding a fake ad, and a fake classified along with the fake stories. This you must also find the fake story that has previously been published in one of our previous April Fool’s additions. Good luck with that!

Some of our most popular spoofs include the story of when the Kent Theater was to be sold on Ebay to the highest bidder—no reserve!  (shipping not included.) There was the news piece that the City of Cedar Springs was to impose a new “Bob tax” which included a special tax assessment for anyone with the name Bob. (It also included those named Robert, or even Roberta). 

We chuckled when people in the area searched far and wide to see the giant snowman built by a seven-year-old who filled her wagon with snow, turning each wagon full into a 20-foot high snowman while being supplied with ample peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by mom.

We also added a day to the week, calling it Fraterday. It was like having two Fridays! Much better than an extra Monday. Another year readers were invited to participate in a national Lotto. The government (with your consent) garnished an extra $1 out of your check each week, entering you into a national lottery which was paid to one lucky winner every week. Another year, the city participated in a government program allowing citizens in Cedar Springs to take a nap every day at noon. When you heard the noon siren, it was time for a nap! I really liked that one.

There was the new ordinance allowing for additional parking spaces designated only for left handers. 

One of our readers favorites that definitely got the most attention was the gambling operation to open in the downtown strip mall just across from Admiral on the corner of Main and 17 Mile Rd. Our editor drafted a story that the newly built strip mall would host a gambling operation including “Kiddie Gambling and Kiddie Slots.” It was just a few hours after the paper came out before word reached our readers in California, who called to say, “What’s going on in Cedar Springs!”

And we can’t forget when former Fire Chief Mark Strypko retired from the fire department to go work for the federal government on a politically incorrectly named project to work on flame retardant matches. One of my personal favorites, and not because I wrote it, was PMS Day in Cedar Springs complete with a PMS parade and PMS queen. We got a lot of nominations for PMS Queen! 

There were many story ideas that just hit the scrap bucket. They were either too good to be true or too offensive. This week, take the plunge and test your sense of humor.

To win all you have to do is read the newspaper. That’s right! Read the stories and read the ads. Identify the fake display ad, fake classified ad, AND the fake stories and you could win a fast $30! Email us at news@cedarspringspost.com with your guesses by Tuesday, April 2, at 5 p.m. Include your name, address and phone number in the email. Or you can drop off your entry here at 36 E. Maple. One winner will be chosen out of all the correct entries received by the deadline. We will call you to let you know you’ve won by Wednesday, April 3. And that’s no April Foolin’!

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