I'm not a prank person. I already have to wade through bad facts online all day, so I'm not crazy about April Fools' and its inevitable slog of brand attempts at soulless humor alongside friends you've ignored since high school making uninteresting fake baby announcements. Worse still, there are usually a few things I'm secretly sad aren't real, like the shady "Custom Timestamp" for Gmail I'm still thinking about years later. Here are a few of my favorite "Aw man" moments from this year's garbage pile.
Guaranteed friendlier than most mechanics
If the bike industry was a bike shop, Park Tool would be the crotchety, sharp and nearly indispensable old manager. Fittingly, their prank was well-specced, neurotically named, and narrated by someone's semi-retired dad.
Their April release was the SA-K9: a workshop apron for shop dogs. Announced via Facebook, I saw it shared straight faced enough times to make me worry about my friends. It's a cute joke, but pop a top flap and velcro closure on there and I'm about 300% sure it should go to market.
Scaled one to five, the SA-K9 got 5/5 Aw Mans, heavy on the aw.
Also hailing from the bike industry, Dakine launched the Keg Laps Hip Pack, a personal portable keg carrier. In a fanny pack. Meant for mountain biking. Now, even squinting at those words from a distance it is clearly a brilliant idea and I'm offended that there isn't already an elegant industry standard option for trail kegging. Maybe it's just because most drunk bikers spend their energy on things other than soft goods design. Maybe it's because beating the hell out of a mini keg all the way up a mountain is hilarious, but I don't care, I want one anyway. I'd just make someone else carry it.
Enter a caption (optional) Enter a caption (optional)
This thing is designed around a 128 oz. DrinkTanks system and their own Lowrider waist bags. It's so convincingly shot that readers in every comments section got into brawls about both whether it's real and who wants it the most. The answer is that we all suffer from desire, maan.
I want one but I don't want to drink with at least two-fifths of the world's MTB brahs so the Keg Lap gets 3/5 Aw Mans and a sober sigh. However, I did find the yet-to-arrive Trailkeg, so maybe there's hope.
Portrait of the author as a young bike
Lastly, Duolingo is a trusted household name for cheap approximations of foreign languages. As such, the promise that they could teach my parents (and my quickly aging late-millennial self) how to "Learn emoji in just 5 minutes a day" was a brief but beautiful beacon of hope in an era still marked with texts signed "Love, Dad."
I'm not mad, Duolingo. I'm just hurt. 5/5 Aw Mans.
Enter a caption (optional)
I like jokes, and I like seeing people fall down, but I don't like combining the two. Thankfully the holiday for the digital equivalent is over and I can go back to pouring over press releases for imaginary products in peace.