April Fools’ Day has long been a day to play practical jokes on friends and family, and most of us have taken part in the practice each year. The key to April Fools’ Day is when you get to see the look on your “victim’s” face. This year, it seems that a virus had the best joke…for lack of a better phrase for it, because there is nothing funny about COVID19. The virus has wreaked havoc on the world. And now it’s April Fools’ Day, and most of the United States citizens have been told to distance themselves from each other. On April Fool’s Day, that is a cruel joke.
April Fools’ Day pranks don’t really work well by phone, email, or text, although I suppose that, to a degree, Skype or Facetime would allow the prankster to see the face of their victim. Still, part of the fun is more than just their face. A perfect April Fools’ Day joke produces more than just a shocked face, the body language is a part of it too. My family loved April Fools’ Day pranks, and while the jokes varied, going from the typical childlike jokes, like trying to convince our sisters that they had a spider on them, when they were old enough to know that it was an April Fool’s Day joke. If they were feeling generous, they might pretend to be scared, but that reaction was usually reserved for the youngest sister at the time. The rest of us had to step up our game. Somehow, I just can’t imagine any of those jokes working very well by text. I wouldn’t even know how to set it up from that distance.
This year, with “social distancing” as a new part of our reality, the joke appears to be on the pranksters. Oh I might be able to prank my husband…and I probably will, because let’s face it, he’s here, and I am a prankster…and he is pretty much the only “victim” available. Yes, April Fools’ Day pranks will be much different this year, but in light of the fact that we all have cabin-fever, maybe some creative pranking is just the think we all need. So…prank it up all you dedicated April Fools’ Day pranksters. We must never give up without a fight!!
April Fools’ Day has been around for a long time. In 1700 English pranksters popularized the tradition of playing practical jokes on each other. Some people say that it actually started in 1582 when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as mandated by the Council of Trent in 1563. At that point, people who didn’t get on board with the change, and continued to celebrate the new year during the last week of March through April 1, were laughed at and made fun of, as being gullible.
When I was a kid, my sisters and I took great pleasure trying to fool each other. We tried everything from saying they had a spider in their hair to switching the salt and sugar in the containers. Most of the time they were not fooled, but every once in a while, we were rewarded with a completely shocked sister, or even one who screamed. Historians mentioned things like dressing up in disguises or even that the weather got involved in the whole thing, by the unpredictability of the changing season. I think most of us have been fooled by that one, because we dress warmly in the morning and find ourselves too hot later on, or vise versa. Of course, the weather never sticks to just one day.
During the 18th century, April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain. In Scotland the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands. Gowk is a word for cukoo bird, which is the symbol of a fool. The second day was Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them. I’m beginning to think my sisters and I weren’t very inventive.
These days people have really ramped up the process by using newspapers, radio, TV stations, and web sites to report outrageous fictional claims to fool their audiences. According to History.com, “In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.”
People are gullible, and some people have a mind that can easily come up with outrageous things. If you are the former type of person, today is going to be a day filled with pranks, because gullible people are well known to those who play on that gullibility. And if you are that prankster, today is your day. Happy April Fools’ Day!! Let the pranking begin, and the gullible people beware!!
Fishing is a favorite pass time for many people, and most of them will tell you that they find it to be very relaxing. Nevertheless, not everyone who goes fishing, especially for the first time finds it fun or relaxing. I am not one of those people who loves to fish, and I find it boring, not relaxing, and yes, I have fished before. I don’t like worms and I have no intention of stabbing one with a fish hook, much less removing its carcass from said hook in the event of not catching any fish.
My grand niece, Kaytlyn would fall into the category of those girls who agree with my thoughts on fishing. When told that she was going to get to fish, she thought it was a great idea, but I think maybe that was before she knew what fishing was. It all sounded like fun, and maybe she wanted something new to do, but when reality hit her, and she figured out that these aren’t little plastic fish that don’t move…well, all she wanted to do was get away, and her mom had her trapped. There was no way out. Believe me Kaytlyn, I feel your pain on that one. There is nothing worse that being trapped and far to close to something creepy, whether it is a fish, spider, or moth, it makes no difference. Things that are alive and not human should stay in their own space, and I’ll stay in mine.
I’m not alone in my feelings about fishing. There are lots of other girly girls like me who just can’t stomach it. Oh we might go fishing if we are forced, but don’t expect us to bate our own hook or remove the fish that are caught. And by the way, keep that slippery, wet, wiggly fish away from me. I don’t want to touch it. Fish should only be found on a plate, fully cooked or in an aquarium. And, I have a feeling that Kaytlyn might fall into that same category, but only time will tell. She may be just like her sister, and really enjoy fishing. We will have to see.
Jala likes to fish, although I don’t know if she bates her own hook or not. Either way, she doesn’t seem to have much problem with them, and in fact wears a smile while she is fishing. Maybe she will be able to help her little sister get over the fear she seems to have concerning fish. Maybe…in time she will be able to help Kaytlyn, but for now, as far as Kaytlyn is concerned, all she wants is out of there, because her motto is…”I don’t think I like fishing after all!!”