For real, - NO FOOLIN'!

Dave Schwab

Thu April 6, 2017 10:24am

April Fool’s Day will not be celebrated this year. April fool! Exactly how did this most unusual of holidays get started anyway?
The historical origins of April Fool’s Day, also known as All Fools’ Day, are obscure.
However, contrary to popular belief, April Fool’s Day is not an American holiday.
Some historians trace the beginnings of the light-hearted, prankster holiday back to 16th century France and a calendar change, of all things.
At that time when the Gregorian calendar was adopted, New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to Jan. 1. Thereafter, those continuing to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1 rather than Jan. 1 were referred to as April fools, opening themselves up to having tricks played on them by others.
The holiday is observed every year on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes.
When the person fooled discovers the prank, the prankster traditionally shouts “April Fool!”
Although celebrated worldwide, April Fools’ Day is not an official public holiday in any country.
Fools and pranks on this special day have frequently involved newspapers, magazines and other publications running fake stories, then revealing and/or explaining the lie the next day.
Are April fools’ jokes/pranks good or bad? It depends on the prank — and who is on the receiving end.
On the positive side, the contention is that April fools are good for the health, encouraging jokes, hoaxes, pranks, laughter and hilarity. Pranks can often be innovative, creative and — most importantly — fun.
On the down side, such pranks are considered creepy, manipulative and rude by some, who argue the impact of the prank or joke is often hard to predict, for better or worse. Sometimes, stories meant as jokes can be taken seriously — with unintended consequences.
Perhaps it is not peculiar that such an unusual holiday is celebrated in unexpected ways internationally.
Traditionally, in Italy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, April 1 is known as April Fish. A common prank played on victims involves attempting to attach a paper fish to their back without being noticed.
Today, April Fool’s Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a fool’s errand — looking for things that don’t exist — playing pranks or trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
In one infamous historical prank from 1957, the British Broadcasting Corporation broadcast a film purporting to show Swiss farmers picking spaghetti in what they called the Swiss spaghetti harvest. The BBC was later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a hoax on the news the next day.
Looking for a fun prank or hoax to pull on a friend — or better yet, an enemy — on April 1?
Here are a few juicy suggestions:
• Color all your cooking with different/weird colors for lunch or dinner.
• Replace coffee with black tea. Replace sugar with salt.
• Place a house for sale ad in the newspaper for someone’s home.
• Remove the showerhead and place a Lifesavers candy or bullion cube in it, then put the head back on.
• Rearrange somebody’s drawers or file cabinets in a different order.
• Take a jelly-filled doughnut and extract the jelly with a syringe, then replace the jelly with ketchup.
Enjoy, whether you’re the fooler ... or the foolee.