Every couple years or so around March, I’ve come to expect a text message from Anthony Romero. It normally says something along the following lines: “Any ideas for April Fools’ Day?” Needless to say, the gears start turning in my head. Normally, I receive the text during the light of day, when I still have my wits about me. This year, I awoke in the middle of the night to find the message. Because my brain was still in that foggy dusk between dreams and reality, half of my mind was trying to work out an interesting April 1st gag while the other half was seeking a return to slumberland.
Anguirus takes advantage of the adjacent tub.
It was in this midst of this twilight that a very bizarre idea came to me. What if there was a menu option on the left side of the front page that simply said “Jacuzzi”? Curious websurfers who dared to click on this mysterious link would be presented with an animated loop of Godzilla, enjoying a relaxing respite in an inviting hot tub.
I must admit that I was on the fence about suggesting this bizarre idea. After all, it’s far more of a novelty than what people have come to anticipate. Toho Kingdom’s usual pranks are a bit more sophisticated. I ultimately decided to take the leap and submit the suggestion the following day. To my surprise, the plan was given the go! Anthony jested that this unusual idea had the potential to throw off April 1st speculators.
The animation itself was rather easy to put together. For the foamy water, I recycled the roaring sea footage from The Return of Destoroyah The Pooh. The lava sound effect from The Birth of Jet Jaguar was sped up to provide the background noise. As for the star of the animation, I cropped the image of Godzilla (’91) in the Monster Bios. It was indeed an afternoon well spent.
If you right click and zoom in on the thermometer during the animation, you’ll notice that the temperature is in the recommended range (in degrees Celsius), as suggested by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In a bid to go for gold and attempt to convince some of our users that this was a legitimate new section, I asked Anthony if he would be willing to write the update on the front page. I figured it would be too obvious if I authored it, since veterans of Toho Kingdom’s previous April Fools’ Days would be quick to remember 2009’s flash intro prank. Anthony agreed, and his “we’re just getting our feet wet” wording was certainly the wrapping that this joke needed. A hilarious companion piece to the animation, his update even included the notorious March 32nd date in accordance with tradition.
When all was said and done, we had a rather friendly joke that really didn’t leave people hanging.