Google buys Burning Man? Benioff to donate fortune to end homelessness? — an SF April Fools jokes round-up

On Guard column header Joe

Alright folks, announcement time: I’m dying my hair blue.

OK OK, lame April Fools joke. But there were actually some pretty good “gotchas” from around San Francisco and the Bay today, some of which definitely fooled some folks, based on their interwebs reactions (interwebs = internet, for those unfamiliar with the lingo).

From fake legislation poking fun at State Senator Scott Wiener’s height (he’s 6’7”!) to Salesforce getting skewered three different ways, it’s been a busy April Fools day in San Francisco.

I’m going to round up some of my favorites below, but if you’ve spotted any other April Fools gems in The City feel free to add a link in the comments.

In no particular order:

Salesforce to Paint Golden Gate Bridge Blue for Dreamforce Conference — Broke-Ass-Stuart: I don’t blame anyone who fell for this one (and based on the Facebook comments, more than a few people though this was real). Our very own Stuart Schuffman, SF Examiner columnist and self-identified hustler, hit the nail on the head right here — wouldn’t it be just like San Francisco officials to shill out our iconic bridge for some extra bucks? The icing on the cake of this prank is the made-up Salesforce quote:

“When we reached out to Salesforce, their spokesperson, Joseph Azul gleefully touted the partnership saying ‘Salesforce and San Francisco love each other. It’s a symbiotic relationship. We give San Francisco lots of money and they let us do pretty much anything we want. Just look at the skyline! Without Salesforce, San Francisco wouldn’t have the second tallest building this side of the Mississippi.’”

Slow clap, Stuart. Slow clap.

Senator Wiener Proposes Minimum Door Frame Height Legislation — San Francisco Housing Action Coalition: OK for those who don’t know, State Sen. Scott Wiener is tall. Really tall — 6’7”. I remember seeing him at Folsom Street Fair once (the iconic bare-chested leather photo) and my eyes were up to his sternum. Well, in this political group’s newsletter, they posited that Wiener has proposed state legislation to “require all door frames to be at least seven feet tall.”

The mock-quotes are also on point:

In a statement, Wiener said, ‘I’ve been doing so many damn things for the rest of you—housing, transportation, night life. I want one for me.’ Fellow state legislators Phil Ting and David Chiu said, in a joint-statement, ‘it’s never been a big deal for us.’”

I texted Wiener to ask him if he saw the joke, and he told me “I almost spit out my coffee. I love it.” Although, he added, “in reality, if I ever author legislation to help tall people, it will be mandating more legroom in airplanes.”

Our City All Home: Posted anonymously, this Twitter account claims to speak for Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, alleging that the pair of tech titans had let bygones be bygones after their feud over Proposition C, which taxed wealthy businesses to fund homeless efforts. Instead, the Twitter account claims, the pair will donate $6 billion — or allegedly half of their own personal wealth — to “end homelessness in SF.”

Funnily enough, the Twitter account for the wealthy neighbors along the waterfront, who are fighting a homeless navigation center there, looked like they took the bait — and thought the April Fools joke was real! Hoo boy. What cards.

Page & Octavia neighbors bite back at honking drivers with April Fool’s signs — Hoodline: Did San Francisco really put up signs saying “IT’S ILLEGAL TO HONK AT THE IDIOT IN FRONT OF YOU,” do you think? Naw. But some enterprising locals in Hayes Valley did, in a fun little April Fools prank meant to spoof annoying drivers on Page and Octavia streets.

Even though the signs are obviously ridiculous — one even reads “sonar enforced!” — they’re apparently effective. “The difference is amazing,” a fella named John told Hoodline.

Grizzly Bears Return to Point Reyes National Seashore — Point Reyes National Seashore Facebook: The Point Reyes National Park Service’s Facebook account was really feelin’ itself this April Fools, with a twofer: First they pledged to let loose grizzly bears “only” during “non-visitor hours” to control the elephant seal population at Drakes Beach, and then in conjunction with The West Marin Feed, they announced a “Shake Shack” would move into the Point Reyes lighthouse.

How do we know that ain’t for real? Well, the “elephant seal shakes” and “free-range elk burgers,” which are all “locally sourced,” may have been a clue …

Google has Acquired the Majority Share of Burning Man — MixMag: Considering the booming presence of tech giants at the annual Black Rock Desert experience, this one probably hit a few Burners too close to home. “Luxury camps” have been called out by long-time Burners as detrimental to the Burning Man experience, so this April Fools joke is a scarily-realistic next step.

GoFundMe Campaign Advances to Just Fucking Destroy Every Last Cool Thing in S.F. Already — SF Weekly: Save the best for last, that’s what my dad always used to say. And so for today’s April Fools roundup, please give Pete Kane’s SF Weekly satire a read. Seriously, the idea that we’d crowdfund destroying San Francisco culture just so we could end the trickle, trickle, trickle of our city’s slow transformation into a gentrification haven is almost too real. Just leave Red’s Java House out of it, OK?

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at

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