No fool like an April fool

I read the Times somewhat more attentively than usual on the train this morning to try to spot an April Fool, but was unsuccessful.

The story "Pressure grows on Mosley to stand down" was unfortunately not an April Fool. I write "unfortunately" not because of whether or not Max (son of Oswald) Mosley should resign from Formula One for indulging in Nazi-themed sex with prostitutes, but because Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One, is quoted as saying "If Max was in bed with two hookers, they'd say "good for you" or something like that." Er, no, Mr Ecclestone, "they" would not. (Maybe in his world they would, but not anyone else's world.)

Thankfully, the self-evident story "Diana death 'conspiracy' thrown out by coroner" was not an April Fool. (Diana coroner blasts lies and gold-digging by Paul Burrell, Diana's butler.)

The fact that every person in the UK will receive free health checks once they reach the age of 40 is apparently not an April Fool either, although it is a non-story as anyone can go to their GP and get a "free health check" by asking for one.

A whole page on the scruffiness despite recent haircut of Boris Johnson, Conservative party candidate for Mayor of London, was sadly not an April Fool, though shows one the depths to which the Times has sunk.

Kevin Spacey's justified comments about the BBC giving endless free advertising to Andrew Lloyd Webber's west end shows was not an April Fool. (I'd do anything for my theatre to get a plug like this from the BBC.) Good on you, Kevin. And good on you, Times theatre critic Benedict Nightingale, for your opinion on the matter, particularly re Graham Norton.

Other non-April Fools appear to be "Woman who invented an evil stalker is spared jail" and "Six dishes that rule mealtimes" (about "an insatiable appetite for TV cookery shows").

My money is on "mobile phone sniffer sees through fibs", especially as it does not seem to be in the online edition of the paper, but honestly, almost any of the stories could be a joke, rendering the point of even having a joke superfluous. The paper features a rather weedy historical round-up of April Fools here. Tomorrow, I'll be back to the quick scan and the jump to the back page (puzzles).

If you'd be interested in a much better round-up of April Fools with a scientific theme, I refer you to the Great Beyond . My favourite is the top ten creationist discoveries, but the new deep-sea communities from whale poo runs it close.