April Rules

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Memo to the Internet and its users: YOU ARE DUMB TODAY.

I don't know why I never thought of this before. Most years, I generally bitch about the horrifying intersection of a global telecommunications network, a holiday based around pranks, and the Earth's teeming morons. But I've never thought to codify my hatred into a series of itemized, easily-remembered rules to live by. A list I can then amend and re-post year after year out of pure, unmitigated laziness. It's genius! Probably shouldn't have laid my plans out publicly like that, but what the hell.

Anyway, to start, let's reiterate the You Are Dumb Golden Rule Of The Internet.

The internet tells you lies, because it thinks that's funny.

This is always true. And then there are the rules that are specific to April Fool's Day.

1. With the exception of this column, nothing you read on the internet today will be true.

This should be all you need. But people gotta bitch. People gotta argue. what about things that actually happen? Those will be on the Internet. Wah wah wah. Fine. Supplemental rule.

1a. Anything on the internet today that, in defiance of the laws of nature, ends up being true, you should disbelieve anyway. If it's still on the internet tomorrow, then you can believe it.

Rules 1 and 1a are, of course, completely fucking impossible for people to follow. This is why rule 2 exists.

2. If you believe anything you see on the internet today, keep it the fuck to yourself. Do not put it on your wall. Do not forward it in an e-mail. Do not, under any circumstances, travel from your cubicle to another cubicle and tell someone else about it.

This, of course, leads to a supplemental rule.

2a. If someone tells you about something they saw on the internet today, do not believe them. Whether you nod and smile until they go away, or berate them until they go away crying, is up to you.

3. That awesome thing you saw on ThinkGeek today? Not real. You can't order it. Well, you can't order it for another six months, until they figure out how to make it and how much it'll cost.

4. In the wildly likely event that you ignore rules one through three, at least avoid making any serious life decisions or monetary expenditures based on what you see on the Internet today. Seriously. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you? Caveat emptor to the tenth power, people.

And since the Internet is not made up entirely of information consumers, a few more rules.

5. Your internet April Fool's prank isn't funny.

6. If you write for or own a video game website, your April Fool's prank is even less funny than not funny. You have created a comedy void that renders nearby web-pages less funny just by its very existence. Cut it out.

7. You are not the exception to rules five and/or six.

I know, it hurts to hear, but it's true. And no, this isn't a request for you to send me the one you think is really funny. Neither of us want that. Trust me.Follow these rules, and you too can have a happy, healthy, connected April Fools Day. Deviate from them at our collective peril.