Again this year, the RoundTable presented some April Fool stories in its March 29 edition. These stories appeared in the print edition alongside other “real” news or feature stories. They also appeared as separate stories on our website. Each story, whether in print or online, was accompanied by an April Fool icon, so we thought readers would get the joke. Each story also contained at least one reference to the fact that it was an April Fool story.
The writers’ names – Dirk Cumulo, William King III and Harry Relo – are fictitious, as are the characters within the story: Audrey Filch, Saul Previewsky, Armand A. Legg, Grafton Grant and Simon Baden.
The ideas? Well, these came straight from a seemingly perennial predicament: The City has faced a challenge in balancing its budget, and the City Council has chosen to impose fees rather than raise property taxes. Consequently, some residents are feeling nickel-and-dimed. There has also been an undercurrent of resentment about how economic development money is distributed. And of course Evanston is legendary for its parking.
Writers tapped into that resentment, and the results were the stories on the “smart” parking meters, the uptick in moving-van fees, the proposed resurrection of the window tax and the dedication of part of Lee Street Beach to Trader Joe’s.
Some readers called, wrote or posted online that they enjoyed these stories. Some did not read far enough or closely enough to get the joke. Some just didn’t like it.
We thought April Fool was a time we could use some Onion-like humor to take a look at ourselves. We hoped everyone would enjoy the articles, and we thought our labels were sufficient to let people know these were April Fool stories. We apologize to those who were offended.