Today is the day of the prankster and the pranked, so beware and have your skeptical odometer on high alert because you never know what’s lurking around that could make you look like a fool.
April Fool’s Day has developed over the centuries to become a day you either immensely enjoy because you can get away with making fun of others in the name of “April Fools,” or if you are by chance one of the others, a day you dread and wait to be over.
No one knows exactly how the tradition began. According to History.com, many speculate it “dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.” News traveled quite a bit slower back then, and those who didn’t get the info on the change or failed to recognize it became the “butt of jokes and hoaxes.”
Those unfortunates who didn’t receive the news on how the start of the new year changed and were still celebrating during the last week of March through April 1 were referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), which symbolized “a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.”
By the 18th century, many countries had evolved April Fool’s Day into an all-out celebration, sometimes lasting multiple days. Thankfully, these days, most people keep it to a one-day minimum of pranking others. There are, however, some creative hoaxes that are so elaborate that they take months for the pranksters to put them together.
Mashable offered up their take on the top 50 epic pranks, and we thought we would share some. How would it be to walk into your office to see everything individually wrapped in newspapers? Pretty dang funny. The Signpost is always looking for good ways to recycle the paper. The abuse of Post-it notes is endless: desks, cars, bedrooms and entire offices. That would take a long time to clean up. One we thought was really clever: a high school lined the entire lobby and main level with plastic cups, every 2 inches from each other. These types of hoaxes are fun and fairly painless. However, there are some that go beyond the fun and games.
Uncyclopedia Wikia lists the 100 worst April Fool’s jokes. Some are just outright ridiculous (and sometimes even criminal), but most of all, they’re just not funny, such as faking your own death or getting a relative to fake theirs or making parents think their children have been abducted—the list of things that put someone else in pain is endless, so we won’t go into them. These are the kind of hoaxes that put April Fool’s in the dumps for many.
San Francisco Bay’s SFGate blogger Peter Hartlaub wrote in 2009 the “Five reasons why I hate April Fool’s Day,” and all five are very real problems. Somehow, all the unfunny people come out of the woodwork. Nobody enjoys lame jokes. It is a day that makes you second guess real events. Bigger profile companies, corporations and cities have been putting out bad hoaxes for as long as most can remember, and they’re always repeating the same ones. This one pricks the heart: It is a really bad day for children, because they are easily fooled, and most of the time, the jokes are really mean.
Although there is significant bad hype about April Fool’s Day, many people can prank their friends and family in a way where everyone comes away with a sore belly from excessive laughter. Be sure to think about your prank before you go ahead with it to make sure everyone leaves smiling.