Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Day

Apparently the history of April Fool's Day is not that clear but some think it began during Charles IX of France days, back in 1582. It was when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, which moved New Year's Day from April 1 to January 1 (you can thank Pope Gregory XIII for that one). Due to the lack of fast communication means, the news about the change traveled very slowly and took several years for news to spread. Even so, there were still people who refused to convert (kind of sounds like Daylight Savings, doesn't it?) and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1.

These nonconformists were labeled "fools" by other people, often subjected to ridicule, such as being sent on fool errands, sent invitations to nonexistent parties and victims of other practical jokes. These ridicules became custom, evolved over time, and spread to other countries such as Britain and Scotland in the 1700's (yes, even folks back then took pleasure in other people's humiliation). And leave it to the English and French to introduce such tomfoolery and shenanigan to the American colonies.

In England, jokes are played only in the morning (because it's bad luck to play jokes any other part of the day) and you're called a "noodle" if you're a victim of a joke (Brits, what a bunch of noodles).

In Scotland, April Fool's Day is known as Taily Day and pranks are focused on the butts (those crazy Scotsmen, guess wearing those skirts make them an easy target for these butt jokes).

I suppose the term "punk'd" is our modern day's terminology for someone who is the butt of a joke (thanks Ashton Kutcher for your contribution to society). So, did you get punked today? Someone at my work (and I know who you are!) posted a sign on the front door asking people to take off their shoes before walking on the carpet. This is so not to ruin their shoes because of the chemicals used to clean the carpet last night. No one has fallen for it yet but some had thought about it. Gee, you think the person who put that up would think people rather ruin their shoes than to walk barefoot on chemicals that would ruin their shoes. Sheesh, even I, the Barefoot Queen (self dubbed, of course), wouldn't do that! Let's hope that someone more creative will come up with a better April Fool's prank (or is that punk?).

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