Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fool!

Today is April 1st, commonly known as April Fools' Day. It's a day dedicated to silliness and playing tricks on your friends ... things like gluing your roommate's shoes to the floor, calling the zoo to ask if Mr Lyons is available, and taking the Tea Party seriously.

The actual origin of April Fools' Day as a day of fun and trickery is not precisely known. Many ancient cultures had a celebration around this time of year that was tied to the vernal equinox and the beginning of spring ... the New Year celebration was frequently held around this time, as it was clear that a season of new life was beginning after the darkness and cold of winter. This might explain why the celebration was of a happy and lighthearted nature. Then again, it might just be a prank Mother Nature pulls on us when she hits us with sleet, snow, and freezing rain when we thought we were through with all that #%@&.

There's a long tradition of playing pranks on April Fools Day, ranging from the simple to the elaborate. Naturally, there's a website dedicated to classic tricks and hoaxes: The Hoax Files will give you the straight poop (yes, Chrissy, that reference was for you) on some amazing tricks that have been played over the years.

Other things that have happened on April 1st:

In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini declared Iran to be an Islamic republic. As April Fools' Day tricks go, that one turned out pretty badly.

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computers. If they hadn't, I'd be writing this blog on something other than my beloved iMac.

Famous people born on April Fools' Day include Otto von Bismarck (the "Iron Chancellor" of Germany), author Milan (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) Kundera, composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, and horror film actor Lon Chaney.

Famous people who died on April Fools' Day (and are, as far as I can tell, actually dead) include singer Marvin Gaye and cosmetics queen Helena Rubenstein.

And it was on this date in 1918 that the Royal Air Force was formally established in Great Britain ... the so few by whom so much was owed by so many, according to Winston Churchill.

April Fools' Day. Celebrate by writing a congratulatory letter to your elected reprehensives to thank them for the fine job they're doing. After all, they already think we're fools.

Have a good day. Be here tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. More thoughts then.



Mike said...

I asked Agnes to put a little itching powder in your shorts today. Just enough that you might or might not notice. But she probably forgot to do it. Try not to think about it.

KathyA said...

Oy! Itching powder/shorts? Taking the Tea Party seriously, listening to Newt Gingrich explain his indiscretions... :)

chrissy said...

Haa...thanks for the shout out! Happy April Fools!!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Are my shorts itchy?