To say that last week’s April Fool’s pieces tricked a few of you this year would be an understatement. If one guy’s Twitter feed counts for anything, perhaps as many as 40,000 people thought the “Deadpool” star really was buying a house in Chelsea. (Thanks @ VanierReynolds).
We received phone calls at the office; neighbours of our staff pulled them aside, saying things like, “Why didn’t you tell me Ryan Reynolds was moving here?”; local real-estate vendors were pitching properties to fellow broker and spoof participant Erica Bernstein; and, needless to say, the discussion online was, ahem, busy.
At the Low Down, our print edition comes out a bit earlier than April 1, but we make a point of not posting any of our April Fool’s spoofs online until the actual day. But too scintillating was the thought of the hot-as-hell Hollywood hunk hitching his horse to a Hills house, and a photo of the article made it to social media.
Then a super fan with the Twitter handle Vanier Reynolds tweeted that a close “source had confirmed” that Reynolds had bought in Chelsea — that tweet was viewed over 40,000 times. What’s so impressive about this is that the Low Down didn’t even post anything to Twitter, but the rumour still took off online.
“I am all in to perpetuate this rumour,” wrote Twitter user @WJC1122.
The fact that Reynolds actually was in Ottawa to consider purchasing the Ottawa Senators must have made the spoof all the more believable. (Even our graphic designer, Suzy Williams, phoned our office to see if she could put in a word with Bernstein to show Reynolds her property.)
Thank you, Low Down readers, for allowing us a bit of April Fool’s mischief.
We know fake news is a serious matter, so we thank our readers for allowing us a little fun one edition a year. And thank you to good sports Erica “Her Phone is Blowing Up” Bernstein and Shawn “Ryan Reynolds Body Double” Takacs, who got in on the joke and posed in the original photo.
We also want to thank the mayor of La Pêche, who approved the quotes we made up for him in our “Online booking for Wakefield rock this summer” story, which we heard really riled up some readers – until they realized it was a joke.
And last but not least was our spoof ad inviting contestants to audition for a TV show, “Survivor Quebec - The Anglo Edition”. We hope Premier Legault saw our piece of political satire, although we doubt he would find it funny.