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Odd Wisconsin Archive

April Fools

April 1st is a famous day for practical jokes. In 1942, restaurant owner Henry Rooney of La Crosse took great pleasure in playing tricks throughout the day on his unsuspecting customers. Reporter Jerry Moriarity of the La Crosse Tribune went in for breakfast that day and witnessed the following antics firsthand.

Moriarity arrived and ordered pancakes and coffee. The pranks began with his knife, which when lifted exploded with a sharp crack. A smiling waiter obligingly replaced it, but the next one was equally useless. It was made of rubber.

Moriarity discovered that the butter was actually wax and the pancakes themselves had been made with cardboard. Trying to add sugar to his coffee, he found a bottomless spoon. When a real spoon was supplied, the sugar itself was rigged. Baking soda had been mixed with it to make the coffee foam up over the sides of the cup. Even the cup and saucer were pranked, with a suction cup holding the two of them together.

Abandoning his own breakfast, Moriarity sat back and watched the other customers. One woman screamed when she found a wax fly in her milk. Another jumped when a fake spider was dangled near her face. Rubber donuts and fried cotton were served to unsuspecting patrons, exploding cigarettes shocked smokers, and a woman celebrating her birthday was given a present that burst into a shower of confetti.

Makes you think twice about going out for breakfast Friday, doesn't it?

[Source: "True Tales of La Crosse: Unusual Stories from Old Newspapers of La Crosse, Wisconsin" Compiled and edited by Douglas Connell, page 74]

:: Posted in Bizarre Events on March 30, 2011
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