Monday, April 01, 2013

April Fool's Day

Just so you know, I don't do April Fool's Day. I never liked the practical jokes when I was in school, since so many of them were mean-spirited. I don't like seeing people made fools of, including myself.

Where did April Fool's Day originate? If you do a search, you'll find no one really knows. Some say it started with the advent of the Gregorian calendar, when Pope Gregory XIII changed the first day of the New Year from April 1 to January 1. Those who still went by the old calendar were referred to as April fools. Or it might be related to the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Iranian Sizdah Bedar, which is the oldest prank tradition in the world, dating back to 536 B.C.

Wherever it came from, it has become a time-honored tradition in this country. People try to fool others into believing wild stories, outlandish declarations, or they pester and annoy people with pranks. Prank phone calls, outright vandalism, fear-inducing actions. and attempts to make others look like fools. I don't understand the appeal. Then again, I despise movies, TV shows, and especially reality shows that attempt the same thing. I find nothing funny about it.

It's not that I don't have a sense of humor. I do. But to me, life is enough of a joke without adding more misery to it. I believe in letting others hang on to as much of their dignity as possible. So if you're expecting to see me announce that I've hit the New York Times best-seller list, or that I've won the lottery, you can quit watching for it. Those are things I seriously want, so I'm not going to joke about it.

All that said, I do enjoy hearing about really creative, non-hurtful, non-demeaning jokes others manage to pull off on their family and friends. So what are some of your favorite and most successful April Fool's jokes?

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