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Radio Hosts Back on Air After Suspension for 'Dihydrogen Monoxide' April Fools Joke (That's H20)


"People really should start touching up on their chemistry..."

What two radio hosts in Florida thought was a harmless April Fools joke got them temporarily suspended from their long-time post.

The joke made by morning show hosts for Gator Country 101.9, Val St. John and Scott Fish, was about "dihydrogen monoxide" coming from taps, and it led some in the area to begin expressing concern over the local water quality.

Now, dihydrogen monoxide if written according to chemical naming conventions is H2O (water). Get it? Two hydrogens (di) and one oxygen (mono).

(Image: Shutterstock.com)

The Bonita Springs News-Press reported radio management saying the joke stepped over the line when it caused public concern.

“It is one thing when radio stations change their format or other crazy things they do,” the general manager for the country music station, Tony Renda, told the News-Press. “But you are messing with one of the big three, food, water or shelter. They just went too far; I just knew I didn’t like that.”

The Lee County public utility began receiving calls from residents wondering if dihydrogen monoxide coming out of their faucet was safe to drink and use.

“My understanding is it is a felony to call in a false water quality issue,” Diane Holm, a public information officer with Florida Department of Health in Lee County, said, according to the News-Press.

Watch this report about the prank:

Some listeners of the station though think the hosts being suspended went too far. Here are some of the comments on the morning show's Facebook page:

  • Alex Thomas: People really should start touching up on their chemistry instead of being so focused on reality shows. All it takes is a google search and they would find out that it's just H2O, that is, if they even know what that is. I have lost faith in my poor floridians
  • Ellie Mac: I am sad that I am not surprised that this is happening. This is the very same country where thieves can sue the homeowners they robbed, distracted drivers can sue McDonalds over hot coffee, and DJs get suspended and punished for people's ignorant mass hysteria. Anyone who agrees with this suspension and further punishment is proving exacting what is wrong with our fundamentally politically correct countries. This has been taken far out of the context of the joke. (Which was brilliant in its simplicity might I add.)
  • Kyra Underbakke: Last I checked, it's not a crime to use the scientific name of a chemical on public broadcasting.
  • Athena Hollow: And I'm frightened by the stupidity of the public. Therefore, everyone who freaked out about this should be punished.

As of Wednesday morning, St. John and Fish were reinstated. They said on Facebook that it had been a "rough few days" but thanked fans for their "overwhelming" support.

The radio hosts are certainly not the first to use this joke. Here's an example where magicians and entertainers Penn and Teller got people to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide:



Featured image via Shutterstock.com.

(H/T: USA Today)

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