French Mayor Draws Backlash For Insensitive April Fool's Joke

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Mayor Caroline Cayeux was quick to point out that she makes an April Fools' joke on social media every year, but she admitted that this one was "unwise."

In an embarrassing display of poor comedy skills, a French mayor flubbed an April Fools' joke about new jobs coming to her town. 

Mayor Caroline Cayeux of Beavais, France, posted simultaneous pictures of an IKEA store on Twitter and Facebook. Under the photograph she wrote, "IKEA soon in Beavais." 

She went on to write, "The famous Swedish furniture and decoration brand IKEA has just announced that it has decided to move here. This is excellent news for Beauvais and its people, and I am delighted!" 

It was untrue, of course; IKEA was not coming to town. And as is always the case with an April Fools' joke, some of her gullible constituents got fooled. Many took to social media to express their excitement for the thousands of new jobs that would surely come with a new furniture megastore. 

The Russian outlet RT charitably called Cayeux's social media post "deadpan" comedy. But it's unclear where the joke even is. 

And it was a risky joke for a mayor to make, given her potential influence on the unemployment level in her city. 

The problem is that Cayeaux's post reads pretty straightforward. 

Typically with these type of April Fools' jokes, the jokester adds a hint to indicate it's merely a jest. Or it's a proposal so over-the-top that the audience notices, looks at the date on the calendar, and realizes it's a joke. For example, Burger King announced its "Left-Handed Whopper" in 1998. 

But Cayeaux's joke lacked any of these giveaways, and her joke fell flat. 

While we should all be able to appreciate a good joke, even one that broaches a sensitive topic, the mayor probably should have made sure this one was actually funny before posting it. 

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Heinz-Peter Bader

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