“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.”
Proverbs 26:4 (NIV)
Even though I am fully aware of this bible verse, I still found myself wondering about April Fools’ Day after a prank was unknowingly played on a girlfriend. She was so sure what she was reading was true she paused so we could read it together … until we got to the end of the amazing story where the words in big bold print laughed loudly at us: April Fools’ Day; gotcha! What a waste of emotion and sweat but what a relief the story wasn’t true! And why do people consciously do this to other people???
After recollecting myself, I decided I could as well check out my best friend Google to see what all this fuss was about. Although the origin of April Fool’s or All Fool’s Day is not clear, here is a bit of what I learnt at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools’_Day:
“April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1. The day is not a national holiday in any country, but it is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools. Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day.”
Most of us are aware of the practical jokes which include things like whoopee cushions, exploding cigars and the fake but seriously live-looking insects. But continuing down the wikipedia.org webpage, check out what the BBC did for laughs:
“In 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank, where they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti. The BBC were later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a prank on the news the next day.”
Imagine that! Just goes to show that people believe without doubting what they see on TV, hear on the radio or read on the internet. There were too many other pranks to list here but it was interesting to see the extent to which people/companies would go on April Fools’ Day.
As for me, my days of mailing sheets of blank paper to friends and family bearing a tiny inscription at the bottom of the last page stating: “Happy All Fools’ Day!” are long gone. Neither am I able to weave stories of amazing fabrications and after giving the punch line announce smugly: “Gotcha!” I’m just going to sit quietly and wait for others to involve me in the foolery while remembering: “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)