Kiss off April Fools’ Day

(3 min read)

April is Stress Awareness Month so I find it a bit ironic that the first day of the month is April Fools’ Day. I have never been a big joker. I guess I prefer more natural humor, and SNL can get me once in a while, but trickster, pranky or strategic “humor” is just too much for me. I don’t even like jesters or Batman or Marti Gras.

I realize not many people enjoy being made fun of personally or, worse yet, being a part of public humiliation, but I get downright pissy about it. No pun intended].

I went on a trek to see where this ridiculous “special mention day” came from. And it appears it is somewhat of a mystery which, I suspect, in and of itself is probably a prank. Some jackass probably sat up late one night with his drunk buddy and said, “Yo, on the first let’s start humiliating everyone we find in the village and then see how many centuries mates will play this game on each other.” And off to the next pub, they stumbled.

The very name “April” most likely comes from the Latin word “to open.” And the timing of April could represent an “opening” – coming from the dark and cold of winter into the light and warmth of spring. A potential seasonal reversal of which someone thought well, let’s have a ritual reversal.

A few historical events may also have helped mold the Day of Fools:

  • The “fooled party” is called the poisson d’avril, which literally means “April fish.” France’s customary prank involves pinning a paper fish (also called the poisson d’avril) to a friend’s back. WHAT IS SO FRICK’N FUNNY ABOUT A TROUT ON YOUR BACK? GEEZ.
  • In Scotland, April Fools’ Day is called Hunt the Gowk Daygowkis another name for the cuckoo, a common symbol of the fool. The gowkie pranks continue into April 2, and Tailie Day, is when the “paper tail” or a “kick me” sign began being attached to friends’ backs. SIGNS LIKE “KICK ME” OR “I AM STUPID” I AM CONVINCED DERIVED FROM THIS TRADITION. 
  • Brazil celebrates April 1 as Dia da Mentira, or “Lie Day,” in which people try to fool their loved ones with fibs or tricky stories for comedic effects.
  • There are ancient European celebrations such as the Feast of Fools, where people would playfully trade, status, gender, and age roles for one day each year. THIS IS PROBABLY THE ONE I COULD PLAY ALONG WITH THE MOST…DRESS UP. Isn’t this Halloween?
  • And some of the most notable April Fools ideas have come from newscasters and newspapers like the one the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) launched, tricking the whole nation into believing, that spaghetti grew on trees in Switzerland. Or the trick that Taco Bell played, assuring that they bought the Liberty Bell, now known as Taco Liberty Bell.

Regardless of the day’s origin, April Fools’ Day was designed and celebrated to mark the beginning of spring, a time of lighthearted jesting around the world and a symbol that Summer is coming.

Whether you are the one circling a parked car at Walmart with empty grocery carts and watching from afar as peeps cannot drive out

or you have put toothpaste in between the chocolate wafers of Oreo cookies, or sat on a whoopee cushion, be ready because April Fools’ Day is tomorrow.

And as we head into Stress Awareness month, make me a promise to take life more lightly for the following 29 spry Skip to my Lou approach to life AND start looking forward to Summer.

And there you go, BUT PLEASE PLEASE don’t pick on me…


Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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