Two Florida DJs are in hot water after a dihydrogen monoxide April Fools’ prank. Val St John and Scott Fish have been suspended from Gator Country 101.9 after telling listeners that the water in Lee County contained the suspicious sounding substance. Dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) is simply a different way of describing water.
Numerous area residents contacted Lee County Utilities concerned about the safety of the water supply. The panic led to “indefinite suspensions” and possible felony charges against the WWGR DJs.
As reported by The Atlantic Wire, the Lee County Board of Commissioners was forced to release a county-wide statement to calm the residents down. The statement explained that reports of water contamination were false and assured residents that the water supply is safe.
Tony Renda, WWGR general manager, states that the DJs were suspended as soon as he learned about the April Fools’ prank. He further contends that the station issued an apology and continued “telling listeners it was a goof, a bad joke.” Unfortunately many listeners did not understand or did not hear the explanation.
As reported by WTSP News, county officials are not taking the dihydrogen monoxide prank lightly. Lee County public information officer, Diane Holm, has stated that the prank effected “a large segment of Southwest Florida’s population.” She further contends that a false report about water quality may be charged as a felony.
St. John and Fish have both been with WWGR for over ten years. Their Val and Scott in the Morning show has been described as a “station institution” due to their popularity among Southwest Florida residents.
As discussed by Wikipedia, the “dihydrogen monoxide hoax” might have been unknown to Southwest Florida residents, but it is a fairly common joke. Referred to with unfamiliar terminology, H2O might sound mysterious. Coupled with true, but misleading information, such as being “fatal if inhaled,” it could be considered dangerous.
The Florida DJs are in hot water, despite the fact that dihydrogen monoxide is fairly harmless. The April Fools’ prank has at already lead to their suspension, and the possibility of criminal charges.