April 1, 2014 / 7:09 PM / 5 years ago

'Eagle-caught salmon' and other stunts mark April Fools' day

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From Washington, D.C., to Silicon Valley, U.S. politicians and major companies turned prankster on Tuesday, April Fools’ Day, with gags ranging from a fake tattoo to a perfume with cheesy notes.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz turned up on Fox News’s morning show sporting a fake tattoo of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

“My wife was fairly astonished,” Cruz told “Fox and Friends.”

The Republican National Committee also got in on the act, saying in a news release that the party was changing its color from red to blue.

“This unprecedented color swap sends a clear signal that we’re serious about change — and that we’re making a clean break with the recent past,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in the statement.

Democrats also took the opportunity to poke fun at themselves, with former President Bill Clinton late Monday tweeting a photo of himself in sunglasses, looking at an oversized tablet computer, in a nod to a well-known photo of his spouse, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that has become an Internet meme.

Google Inc continued its yearly tradition of revealing bogus products by introducing the “Gmail shelfie,” or shareable selfie, for its email service on Tuesday.

Online grocer Fresh Direct tweeted to its nearly 11,000 followers, “We’re so excited to announce the best in #fresh and #sustainable seafood,” and said it would start delivering eagle-caught salmon to shoppers.

PepsiCo Inc’s Cheetos brand of cheesy snacks sent out workers in New York and Los Angeles to hand out bottles of a cheese-scented perfume called “Cheeteau” that it described as having “buttery notes, accents of sharp cheddar and a touch of lemon for balance, perfect for evening or day wear.”

One hoax bit the dust. The federal government’s U.S. Geological Survey wasn’t amused by a fake letter circulating through the Internet purportedly from the agency and warning of a large earthquake that would strike Southern California.

“USGS had no part in this letter or any alleged alert,” the agency said on its Facebook page. “USGS does not predict earthquakes. USGS distributes reliable and timely scientific information on earthquakes and makes it all available to the public.”

Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Scott Malone and Prudence; Crowther

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