Sunny Side Up

Gratitude & Happiness

(We Are Not) Amused! Or Are We?

on April 1, 2015

A  is for April Fools!

I love reading comics for the inside joke or ‘punchline’ making commentary on today’s society and world.  I’m not one who can come up with a good joke easily or ideas for a prank, but if you ask me to participate, as long as no real harm is done, I will. I remember the pranks we used to play as kids at sleepovers. A popular one was waiting for someone to fall asleep and sticking their hand in cold water or drawing ‘makeup’ on their face with markers. I always tried my hardest not to be the first to slumber. I will try to be a good sport when I’ve been made a ‘fool’ as long as the joke isn’t cruel or disgusting. Fair warning, though, if you do plan to pull a prank on me, I will at some point make an attempt to get you back, and the best part is, you won’t know when it’s coming. 😉

Traditions in Teasing:

  • Celebrated April 1st by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. It is not a public holiday in any country. The victims of jokes are called ‘April Fools.’
  • Now, it is common for media to become involved reporting false stories, weather reports and events through radio, TV, newspapers and websites. These are often denied and explained the next day.
  • UK – April Fools pranks are supposed to end at noon. If you play a trick after, you are the fool. If you do not respond to a joke with good humour, than you will attract bad luck.
  • Ireland – An ‘important letter’ was given to someone to deliver. They would take it to one place and the receiver, reading the message to ‘send the fool further’ would continually send them elsewhere.
  • Italy, France, Belgium, French Switzerland, and French Canada – attempt to attach a paper fish to a person’s back. This is called ‘poisons d’avril.’ (wikipedia.)

Who Were the First Fools?

The most popular theory is that it began in the 1500’s when the calendar was switched from Julian to Gregorian.  The New Year previously celebrated for a week starting on March 25th was switched to January. Those who forgot to or refused to change and attempted to celebrate New Year’s on April 1 were teased.

Pranks Through History:

1392 – Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales contains the first recorded association between April 1st and foolishness.

1539 – Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands.

1698 – People were tricked into going to the Tower of London to see the lions washed.

1957 – The BBC showed video of Swiss farmers picking spaghetti in the ‘Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.’

1976 – British Astronomer and radio presenter Patrick Moore reported that the alignment of Pluto and Jupiter at 9:47 A.M. would cause a moment of weightlessness to occur.

1996 – Taco Bell said that it had bought the ‘Liberty Bell’ as was going to rename it.

1998 – Burger King claimed to have created a ‘left – handed’ burger. (urbanlegends.com)

Some amusing historical facts:

http://www.history.com/videos/ask-history-april-fools

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools%27_Day
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/aprilfools/origins.asp
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/holidays/p/april_fools_day.htm

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: