Joking aside

I’m not usually into practical jokes. Many of the ‘practical jokers’ I met in my life turned out to be bullies in disguise; or just not funny in that I-feel-forced-to-find-this-funny kind of way.

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My favourite April Fools was a letter I received from a bank – my sister worked for them at the time – asking me to repay money I was alleged to have received from a cash machine over and above the amount I had requested. They were asking for around £300.

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I wrote them a fierce letter, and then phoned my sister in a strop, asking for her advice. She strung me along for quite a while before I cottoned on to the fact that the letter had come from her.

Awwww ….

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I was a student at the time, and had no idea it was 1 April. That was also the year in which it took me 36 hours to realise that summer time had commenced – I was living an hour behind everyone else. Those were the days …

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These days, I tend to find the funniest April Fools are news items that look like they ‘ought’ to be pranks, but turn out to be true. Some favourites from today include:

  • transparent wood replacing glass in Swedish windows, from Wired;
  • Whoopi Goldberg’s plans to launch her own line of medical marijuana products to combat period pains, from USA Today; and
  • the emerging trend for denim coloured hair, from the Daily Mail.

These are all true … unlike my earlier post about the closure of Furillen, which I am delighted to say was a joke.

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Thanks to all of you who messaged me – and posted comments here – expressing concern. And to those who caught on without letting on.

To be fair, I did leave some clues – the ‘tag’ on the post that simply read ‘April First’, and the doormat on the sim’s landing point.

But to all of you …

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Furillen forced to close

While yesterday’s flash flood at Furillen did seem rather biblical in scale, I don’t usually go in for omens. But when I looked at my emails last night I could be forgiven for believing that the sim had indeed been visited by something of an apocalyptic nature.

There were two messages marked ‘urgent’: one from Linden Labs, and one from a Swedish legal firm.

Both convey the same underlying message: the sim reproduces a location in the real world that is subject to copyright law; I have not sought permission – etc. etc.

The Linden Labs message is quite reasonable and conciliatory … but, typically, takes a hands-off approach and merely states that the company policy on all such matters is to ensure legal compliance. Which in this case, as the somewhat less conciliatory letter from the Swedish law firm states, means closure by end of business today.

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So that’s it. By 1700 today, European time, Furillen will cease to exist in Second Life.

So do make a last visit if you can – it was fun.

I will – alas – not be inworld much during the day, but will log on to switch off the lights at the allotted time. I am thinking about what to do next, although after this bombshell, I feel a bit disillusioned about life on the grid.