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Missing the Joke

The days after April 1 are always fun around here. Outraged listeners complain that they've been duped by an April Fools' story and NPR has to "clarify" the joke for them. Last Saturday, Scott Simon had a "report" on a new invention called the i-Bod, a tiny handheld device that can regulate our body functions.

Oh, and the letters did flow. Most listeners were good-natured and admitted they were suckered. A few noted that when Googling "i-Bod," they were sent to a racy Web site. But many more folks wrote to complain that Wichita Falls, Kan., (mentioned briefly in the story) doesn't exist. Well, Scott Simon has this message:

"Sometimes, the more intelligent the listener — at least in their own estimation — the more possible it is for them to fall for an April Fools' piece. When listeners heard the mention of Wichita Falls, Kan., at the very beginning of the piece, they were so eager to correct us, to say 'gotcha,' that they didn't notice that the whole thing was a joke. Talk about losing the forest for the limb of the tree."

No hard feelings. If it's any solace, April 1 won't fall on a Saturday again until 2017.

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