Letters: April Fools!

Liane Hansen reads excerpts from listeners' letters regarding last week's April Fools' Day segments. Yes, that story about a cell-phone ringtone initiative in New York City was a hoax. And so was the funder for Soylent Green.

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Time now for your letters, but first - gotcha! One story last week was an April Fools' joke. Although there really is a New York City councilman named David Yassky, he has not introduced legislation to ban annoying cell phone rings and replace them with four city-approved ringtones, nor is there a Center for Reduction of Noise Pollution.

Many of you got it. Kathy Stanford(ph) of Salina, Texas writes:

Oh my, about halfway through your story on the cell phone ringtone ban and my grumblings on how ridiculous that was, I began to suspect that it might be your April Fools' spoof. I'm very happy to find out that it is. I hope no city takes it to heart. Please don't be disappointed that I'm not downloading your ringtones. A couple of them sent me searching for the Pepto Bismal.

And Hal Smith(ph) of Edmund, Oklahoma had this to say:

You stinkers! Just as I was about to e-mail you, ranting and raving about how technically bad those Brooklyn ringtones were, mainly that they had a lot of bass notes, which wouldn't make it through a cell phone's very limited frequency response, you out-queued the story with the line: Will go into effect next year on April 1st. Duh. I repeat: You stinkers!

Our thanks to Councilman Yassky for his great sense of humor and cooperation with our gag, but it didn't end with the ringtone story. That story was followed by this funding credit.

Unidentified Man: Support for NPR comes from the Soylent Corporation, manufacturing protein-rich food products in a variety of colors. Soylent Green is people.

HANSEN: Elaine Jones(ph) of Salt Lake City, Utah was one of the many who got a kick out of that. She writes:

While puttering around my kitchen Sunday afternoon, I had NPR on as usual. My husband came racing up from the basement in reaction to my hysterical laughter. Gasping for breath, I told him about the Soylent sponsor with the tagline "Soylent Green is people." Being April 1st, we rapidly figured out the joke. I love the way it was presented the same way as your other sponsor tags. It's nice to know NPR has a great sense of humor, and you can tell your sponsors that yes, your listeners do hear their names.

Thanks to all of you who wrote in, and we promise, no more pranks until April Fools' Day falls on a Sunday again. And if you want to write in, go to our Web site at npr.org and click on the Contact Us link.

(Soundbite of music)

HANSEN: This is NPR News.

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