April Fools Day jokes are a quarter a quadrillion -- unless, that is, they go beyond the ordinary and into sheer inspiration. That's the case with a stunt in Boulder, although city officials don't necessarily agree.
The gist: Person or persons unknown have created a hoax door hanger declaring that homeowners who don't remove the dust and insect larvae from their sidewalk cracks by noon tomorrow will receive a fine of up to $4,620.
"This is the only warning that this household will receive this spring!" the door hanger exclaims. "Please be sure your crack stays clean for the rest of the year!"
Some other pearls of wisdom from this "official notice:"
"A ticket may be issued to the tenants, the landlord, or both... The City may, if it so choose, clean out the cracks in your sidewalk and charge those costs to the property. Or we may decide to send city inspectors over to inspect the rest of your property for other violations, including, but not limited to: squirrel feces, noisy pipes, hanging limbs, or weeds...
On Vacation: Make arrangements to have your cracks cleaned while you are gone.
"My landlord hasn't given me a tool to clean them:" Responsibility for keeping your cracks clean lies jointly with the owner, manager and occupant. Ask your landlord for the proper equipment, but if you can't obtain the equipment through the landlord, purchase a brush yourself.
Commercial Crack Cleaning Services: The Yellow Pages of the Phone Book under "Crack Removal Services" is a good resource.
Boulder spokeswoman Jody Jacobson doesn't know how many of the door hangers have been placed around town. She says her office has only gotten one call thus far, and officials wouldn't know what the door hangers look like if a reporter from the Boulder Daily Camera hadn't forwarded an image. Check it out here.
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Jacobsen knew right away that the door hanger wasn't legit.
"It's definitely a joke," she says. "There's no such code as the one it references. So it's making fun of the City of Boulder -- which is fine. But we just want to make sure nobody takes it seriously and sends us a check, or gets upset because we gave them a ticket. Because we didn't leave this for them."
Of course, it's possible that a resident has received a legitimate notice of some sort, although presumably one having nothing to do with dust or insect larvae in sidewalk cracks. Anyone who's concerned can call the city's Environmental & Zoning Enforcement Office at 303-441-3239 to be certain.
In the meantime, don't worry if you have a dusty crack. It's going to be just fine.