April Fool’s Day (no joke)

I wrote this 365 days ago. Happy April, and may your pranks be few!


I’m really a fun person. Funny, (at least I think at times), fun, almost always up for fun, love to laugh, love watching (what I think are) funny movies, tv shows, etc. and love kids because they make me laugh every day.

I put in that disclaimer, because what I am about to say will seem to contradict myself.

I just don’t like April Fool’s Day.

Well, to be precise, I like some of what occurs, and dislike most of what happens.

And the dislikes I have far outweigh the likes.

Maybe I haven’t seen or been party to a good enough prank.  This is not an invitation.

When I was a junior in high school, my friend and math tutor, Neil, always liked to pull this one on me.

“Hollie, did you know that guillable isn’t in the dictionary.”

Me, being trusting and sweet and believing in my friend would say, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know that.”

I’m pretty sure this only happened once. Except I think it may have happened twice.

Whatever.  That may have been the extent of my experiences on April Fool’s.

Yesterday afternoon, I took my three boys (all strong supporters of pranks to other people) to get frozen yogurt.  My sister and nephew met us there. As we ate our cool concoctions, I said, as a caring, kind mom,

“Oh yeah, you guys better be suspicious of all of your ‘friends’ tomorrow!”.

And then my middle son, who is a third grader, said, “Oh, man, I was hoping Haden wouldn’t remember it’s April Fool’s Day!”

And then my oldest son, who is a sixth grade, said, “Oh, I totally forgot tomorrow is April Fool’s Day!! I’ll have to pour water on their heads (two younger brothers) at midnight!”

My youngest, a Kindergardner, and my nephew, two and a half, continued to scoop out their frozen treats and talk in a language I wish I knew, innocent to the next day’s looming and annoying possibilities.

Well, Haden’s midnight prank didn’t happen, thanks to the fact that Haden is a pre-teen and sleeps deeply.  And I hope Liam slept okay.
I said nothing this morning as they headed to the bus stop.  Also, I forgot that it was April 1st. I was reminded when I popped onto FaceBook this morning, and saw a couple of posts: One was clearly a hoax post; another was a birthday wish from her sister to my neighbor, Jen.

And guess what, I didn’t trust that it was her birthday.  Because I know her sister.

So I just asked Jen at the bus-stop, “Is it really your birthday??”  She acknowledged that it was.  And she said in essence, it stinks having a birthday on April 1st.

I. Can. Imagine.  If you take any kind, trusting and generally sensitive person and prank them on every birthday, you’re going to get a girl (or boy) who dreads their birthday.  Nice job family and friends.

“Yeah, I’ve gotton cakes made out of real sponges, birthday presents filled with bricks; I’ve been anxious for two weeks, telling my husband I don’t want a surprise party!!!”

She’s also half way through her pregnancy.  So, people, have some compassion.  Not all of us like your stupid jokes.

I ‘d never looked up the origins of this ‘faux-olidy’ (try to say it, I’m not sure it works, but if it does, I want credit).  So that’s what I just did.  I googled and visited three sites, all of varying authenticity (yep, I didn’t even trust the sites) and found that in general, April Fool’s Day has been ‘celebrated’ worldwide for about forever.  And there is no real evidence of the origins.

So, five minutes I could have instead been on Pinterest, wasted. That research didn’t clear up anything for me.

The sites did list some of the major all time hoaxes pulled by companies etc.  And then shared a few time honored traditions in some European countries.

In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, 1 April tradition is often known as “April fish” (poissons d’avril in French or pesce d’aprile in Italian). This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. Such fish feature prominently on many late 19th- to early 20th-century French April Fools’ Day postcards. (Wikipedia.com)
That was the one that ended my fledgeling look into April Fool’s.  And reinforced why I still don’t have a fondness for France.  That is the lamest prank I have ever heard of.

After extensive soul searching and exhaustive research (doesn’t take much for a useless holiday), I have decided:

That I still hate April Fool’s Day.

I’m glad you may enjoy this day, that you find humor in different places than I do, and that you may make the best of it by making elaborate faux-food food that you found on Pinterest. (I’ve pinned a ton).  Just know that not everyone shares your enthusiasm.

So, I offer you some unasked for adivce. Consider your audience, or consider pulling a nice prank (is that possible?), after all, it’s not the sixteenth century anymore. And remember, it’s the prank puller, not the victim who looks like a fool.

I will leave you with a podcast of someone who makes me laugh (and helped me laugh last week in the hospital), John Oliver of Last Night This Week. (rated R for language.  Still makes me laugh).

April Fool’s Day #noprankpledge
Since I cannot in good conscience wish you a Happy April Fool’s Day, I instead wish you Happy April 1st, that is alot like yesterday and probably mostly like tomorrow too.

And Jen, Happy Birthday!  I hope all of your wishes are granted, and your birthday shines brighter than a stupid antiquated tradition.  You’re worth it!!


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