It has been 29 years since the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza published a front-page April Fools’ Day story about Tahoe Tessie rising from the lake’s waters and eating an angler’s poodle.
That story, published in 1992, was the work of Bonanza News Editor James Robbins and photographer Jim Grant.
Grant said he found a toy dinosaur that they floated in the lake for the main photo. Apparently, there were several Incline Village residents who didn’t get the joke. One tale that filtered down from on high was that the real estate community in North Lake Tahoe was afraid people would believe it and stop buying houses.
Editors and reporters across the country have cooked up all sorts of mischief for publication on April 1.
In Nevada, ink-stained wretches rarely waited until April to cook up some tall tale or other.
The famous Virginia City Camel Races were concocted out of whole cloth by a bored Comstock editor in 1959.
The R-C has occasionally participated in those shenanigans.
On March 31, 1939, The R-C published a guide for potential pranksters that featured such gags as a snake in a can, exploding matches or stashing a brick under a hat and waiting for someone to kick it.
In August 1993, a Gardnerville contractor claimed to have unearthed two dinosaur eggs that hatched, releasing carnivorous allosaurs in the Sierra.
That’s about as close to a straight-up prank as The R-C has pulled over the years. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s that most of the news that actually occurs here sounds kind of made up.
With everything going on in the world these days, and all the varying takes, both accurate and way off-base, it seems like there’s nothing so outrageous we could make up that would compare with the daily news. The competition is just too stiff.
That’s why this edition of The Record-Courier is officially prank-free.
And maybe that’s the best April Fools’ prank of all. Psych!