So I looked up the origin of April Fools Day, and I found a lot of mumbo jumbo about different rulers from different countries, back in the day, a reference to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and All Fool’s Day. Whatever the original intention, it is clear we, as a society, have lost touch with the meaning of the day.
As a kid, we did harmless pranks like taking all the toilet paper out of the stalls in the bathrooms at school, putting chalk in between the erasers (yes, we still had actual chalkboards then), hiding in the closet during class, humming all throughout class, wearing our uniforms backwards, etc. Harmless, silly, and more enjoyable for us than damaging to anyone else.
Now-a-days (as I get my old man fist ready to shake), I feel like we are surrounded by impractical jokers, evil Ali-Gs, etc. I am not a fan of jokes that really upset people. Startle me, make me think WTF were you thinking, etc, but don’t make me cry or call the police.
When looking up funny jokes for today, I kept seeing stories about people who joked about proposals, robberies, illnesses, terrorist attacks… not funny. Now, I like a sticky note on the bottom of a laser mouse as much as the next guy… stapler in Jello mold? Yes! But don’t make me act a fool by calling the cops!
A few years ago, I heard about how Johns Hopkins put out a press release on April Fools Day saying, essentially, after years of trying to get the public and the press to get our name correct, we are changing it officially to John Hopkins. They had a banner sign and everything. Of course, within hours it came out that it was a farce. But pretty funny, right? And it actually DID the job of getting people in the community and the local press to acknowledge their real name. Now that is brilliant PR.
So, for all of you jokers out there, let’s remember a few key rules for April Fools, or any day of jokes:
- Nothing that is permanent (tattoos, ruining property, etc.)
- Nothing that can harm anyone (exploding things are a no. Always.)
- You will probably think this is funnier than the person you play the joke on, so just go as far as you are willing to apologize for later.
- Getting fired is not a joke. Things you do one April Fools in jest may in reality lead to your termination. Don’t piss off your boss / institution.
- Old people have heart conditions. Tread lightly. Quiet, gently pranks that wont cause ER runs.
And for some samples:
And then because this just happened, and you all know of my obsession with cheese:
Ode to the White Cheddar Cheez-It
How do I love thee, let me count the ways:
Your baked snack cracker crunch
Steals my heart and my makes me drool.
For all the powdered cheesy goodness
That awaits my aching taste buds.
Ingredients I cannot pronounce
Matter not at all as you dissolve
On my tongue and into my heart.
I see your dark green bag
And I start to salivate for the salt
Of perfectly squared, cheesy snack.
Stay true. Stay mine. Until next time.