Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools' Day

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."--Mark Twain


March is about to take its leave, and April will step in to take its place.  That means it will be that wacky time of year again! April Fool's Day is just around the corner, and it's the perfect time to pull a great prank.  I have to admit it; I've been known to be a bit of a prankster in my day...like the year I sprinkled itching powder on hubby's shirt or left the gum that turned one's teeth blue on my desk.  Hey, it was part prank and part done to see who was taking things off my desk without asking...and the blue easily rinsed off.  Now, hubby, though, he was fit to be tied, and I really felt so bad.  Actually, I had never believed that it was going to be so itchy.  The poor man ended up late for work because he had to jump in and take another shower.  

I know, I was pretty evil back then, but I have mellowed with time...and hubby did manage to get dinner and movie out of me.   Today, I have not only mellowed, but things have changed.  It was always fun to tell someone their slip was showing and then watch them as they twisted and turned to get a look.  Today, no one seems to wear slips anymore.  I can't even buy one because none of the stores sell them. Putting a sign on someone's back is classic. It's usually a paper sign surreptitiously placed there perhaps with a piece of scotch tape with something absurd written on it.  Today my pranks have been reduced to calling in sick, then showing up at work, telling someone there is a stain on their shirt, or calling my co-workers on prank dial. com.  
 
The idea of springtime practical joking and merriment has roots in ancient times  when most of Europe changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar reform caused much confusion, and years passed before the new calendar system completely took hold. Someone who failed to note the switch was branded an April Fool, given that they were likely still celebrating the old new year holiday, held just after the time of the vernal equinox in late March.  The new calendar moved the new year to January 1, but for years there was a small group of people who mistakenly celebrated on April 1. Of course, these traditionalists were made fun of; eventually jokes were played on them by sending them on fool's errands or tricking them into believing ridiculous things.



April’s Fool Day has also been associated with ancient festivals such as the rejoicing festival, Hilaria, which was to celebrate the resurrection of the god Attis in ancient Rome.  People would dress up in various guises for a day of carnival, feasting, and drinking. The Holi festival in India celebrates the arrival of spring. During this celebration people play jokes on each other. Tricks and hoaxes in England can only be played up until noon. Anyone who tries to continue the jokes into the afternoon are believed to bring bad luck upon themselves. In France,  the victim of the prank is called an April Fish while in Scotland they are called an April Gowk (gowk is a cuckoo or another word for a fool!) 

April Fool's Day
is a day to make fun and that spirit of fun is usually at it's peak that day.  April Fool's Day jokes and playing pranks on your friends and co-workers are what this day is all about.  But, it is important to remember that having fun is one thing, but playing pranks that hurt  someone's feelings  as a no-no. The goal is to bring smiles to people's faces, not tears to their eyes.


6 comments:

  1. Is your April Fool's joke the fact that this post is a day early, LOL?

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  2. Debra you're a pisser : )

    The best April Fool's Day joke I pulled was telling my husband (then just fiance) I was pregnant 8 months before our wedding. He remembered it and 6 years later when I really was pregnant I had to pull the damn stick out of the trash can. Sometimes those jokes come back to bite one in the butt.

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  3. I'd still like to wring the neck of the kid that put salt in my sugar bowl fourty some odd years ago, but no one has fessed up.
    Never thought that AWFUL taste would leave my taste buds. NASTY STUFF! I shit you not!

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  4. I'm sure that April Fool's pranks are outlawed at most work places - probably considered harassment!! I'm really bad at pranks. I do NOT have a poker face.

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