Reader Reactions: No Foolin’

Around this eZine, there is a tradition that occurs the first of every April … As part of that tradition, Rob’s “editorial” last time out focused on the alleged banning of power tools by the fictitious NAPS organization and their spokesperson, “Mack E. Avelly.” Many readers got quite riled up. – Editor

“Mack obviously does not do woodworking. Who tells Mack what is safe for him? Does he tie his own shoes yet? Mack, if you don’t think something is safe, by all means don’t do it. Don’t dictate to me what you think I can handle and what I can’t.” – Michael Hightower

“This is about the stupidest idea I ever heard of! Obviously, someone has way too much time on their hands to have thought this one up. I have used power tools for many years and have never had an inury that needed more than a Band-Aid®. Heck, I’ve hurt myself worse while shaving my legs.” – Sandi Schmitt

“Frankly, I think this fellow Avelly is out of his tree. Sure, some people will be injured utilizing power tools, but his argument is specious. How many people are killed and injured on the roads by misuse of a motor vehicle or in similar fashion by firearms? Why doesn’t this idiot direct his overzealous stupidity to getting cars or guns banned?” – Robert H. Mercer

“There must be more to this story than you are presenting. I can’t imagine that anyone who is even remotely familiar with woodworking or with those of us that do it for relaxation and recreation would come up with such an idiotic idea. It’s precisely this sort of thinking that caused European monarchies and despots to choose oppression over trusting the innate intelligence of their subjects. I hope these misguided people will either realize the error of their thinking or be shouted down or ignored as the cracked pots that they appear to be.” – Mike Emerson

“As long as I still have three fingers and most of one good thumb left, I’m not giving up my power tools! If the government wants my power tools, they’ll have to rip them from my cold, dead stumps! Be warned, revenuers! I can see you coming from a long ways off yet with my one good eye, and the safety is off on my nail gun!” – Bill “Lefty” Koski

The ire of at least one reader also extended to a product referenced in both the What’s In Store and Q&A sections, “Mucoid Hardwood Putty.” – Editor

“In this man’s opinion, Uncle Boog needs to have his sinus cavities examined with a chainsaw! Really, harvesting snot rockets from unsuspecting little kids has got to be the most flagrant violation of the child labor laws since child labor laws were written. Or is this just a really bad April Fool’s Day joke?” – Dan Levin

…and then, many of those same readers came to a realization. – Editor

“Will I ever learn to check the date before reading a WWJ eZine issue? I was most of the way through Rob’s opening expose of the NAPS attempt to outlaw power tools before common sense overtook my building rage and I realized I’d been had, once again — for the umpteenth year in a row. What really troubles me is the snake oil sounded like such a good idea. It [stinks] to be so gullible.” – Phil Gilstrap

“At first, I was appalled, but when I was reading out loud to my wife, it hit me: Mack E. Avelly! Touché. Good one.” – Dave Renfrew

“I was swallowing for a while, until you got to the poundage thing.” – Harley Cole

“Next, they’ll try to abolish April Fool’s Day.” – Stas’ Kazmierski

“You guys are nothing if not clever. But a number of woodworkers brought the article about banning power tools to the Houston show [The Woodworking Shows] — and boy, were they apparently miffed and told everyone they could. Joseph had to explain to everyone that it was a joke. Must be the sawdust, I guess.” – Ann Strong

“Dude, don’t DO that! I’m retired, so I have trouble remembering what day of the week it is, much less the calendar date. I was actually Googling the ‘National Association for Personal Safety’ before some of the puns sank in.” – Lee DeRaud

Of course, for some readers, the date doesn’t matter: they either find this annual issue funny — or not. – Editor

“It’s always April 2nd when these things get to us in Australia, but they are just as funny.” – Lance Smith

“I would like to add to that suit, on behalf of the number of people who suffer from carpal tunnel, that we should have their typewriters and keyboards taken from them to protect us from them. That could also save them from many cases of foot-in-mouth disease.” – Les Holm

“I know that you have had the tendency to jump into the April Fool’s Day joke well in the past, but, as a professional ‘techie,’ I really think that your well is a dry hole. On a day when every tech news site is chock-full of AFD jokes, I’ve seen enough.” – Dan Will

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a dozen times; yup, that’s me.” – Neil Lynn

“I look forward to your annual April Fool’s issue. This year continued the humorous level, and I enjoyed it very much. The Mucoid was my favorite this year — absolutely hilarious.” – Larry Giust

“Loved your April 1 eZine! I look forward to attending the annual

Amalgamated

Professional

Resource

Institute of

Lignumomics located at the

Federated

Order

Of

Lumber

Silvilculturists.

Keep up the great work.” Ray Labulis

Although not on the level of response to Rob’s editorial, we did receive feedback on other aspects of the April Fool’s edition, such as the free plans for pre-drawn tool templates and shim shapes. – Editor

“This annual issue was a hoot, as have been all your previous issues! As I’m quickly approaching the big 5-0, I’ve grown to love NAPS and all they do for me. I also appreciate how your staff is so considerate of the health of your readers by introducing us to cellulose cereal. I’m off now to try out those free plans.” – Mary Huiatt

“You caught me again. Rubber trees indeed! Thanks for reminding me ‘knot’ to take myself so seriously.” – Dan Ackermann

“Your most recent eZine has a flaw. There is no way to download your fantastic free plans. Please provide them for me as I think I could really use them. The templates look exactly like the tools my daddy handed down to me when I was but two years old. The shims, especially the large ones, appear to be just what I need to level my dining room table, as I live on a rather steep hill and the plates keep sliding off it and onto the floor.” – Pat McGuire

“Especially liked the superb quality of the free plans this issue. Finally, a decent way to organize my workshop!” – Frank DeHert

“Rob: Love the jacket.” – Ned Moore

“Hats off to the people responsible for this offering. It was well thought-out and, if no one realized, it was covert humor. Excellence with the funny side as well as the eZine itself. I chuckled numerous times. Painting exotic woods black, making your own sandpaper, cellulose cereal toppings and, of course, the plans for the shims and tool templates were hysterical.” – Randy Martinez

Of course, in one of those “it just goes to show you” moments, we received the following comments about making your own sandpaper, and cellulose cereal. – Editor

“Your homemade sandpaper may be an April Fool’s Joke, but it works. I made a work table from a 10×36 section of rusty channel iron. Before painting, I removed the rust by rubbing the surface with dirt and oil.” – Donald Winburn

“Good wood jokes! Except the shavings topping for cereal. That, or something like it, is in the folk tradition. There are several traditional Scandinavian recipes for bread made with bark or sawdust that date from the times of famine that used to wrack Northern Europe. Some of the recipes cut the flour in half and substitute finely ground sawdust. As one authority put it, it wasn’t very nutritious, but it beat an empty belly any day! I’m sure that you will find some old Swedes or Norwegians or Finns down your way who remember this. This URL http://www.nordicwellbeing.com/Julies_Kitchen/2011/01/09/bark-bread-is-back/ is where you will find this recipe:

Ingrid’s Bark Bread

100 g or 3.5 oz yeast

1 liter or 1 quart lukewarm water

1 liter or 1 quart rye flour

1.5 liters or 1.5 quarts white flour

2 dl or 1/2 cup bark flour (Ingrid uses bark from her own pine forest)

This is not an April Fool joke!” – Louise Heite

Most of eZine Issue 271.5, on the other hand, was an April Fool’s joke. With all respect to Louise, Ingrid, and traditional Scandinavian foods such as lutefisk: that’s no lye. – Editor

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