By Scrbuadoo’s Jen Hankin
I remember the first time I became the Fool. I was about 7 and my Dad came rushing into my room to wake me up. Something special was outside that I had to see.
“Wake up, you’re not going to believe what’s right outside your window!” my Dad exclaimed.
Bewildered and confused, as I begin to open my eyes, excitement filled my body and I couldn’t help but smile.
“Look, there’s a horse standing right outside! Look!” instructed my Dad as he pointed to the window.
I rushed to the window to look for this magnificent horse and, to my disbelief, nothing stood outside my window. As I turned around to look at my father, he gushed, “April Fools!”
This same prank still continues to this day, although I don’t normally fall for it anymore. Sunday is April 1st. So don’t get caught being the Fool!
April Fools Day is not a national holiday, although it is celebrated in many countries worldwide. In some such as Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Australia, Cyprus, and South Africa, the jokes only last until noon. Elsewhere, such as France, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, and the U.S., the jokes last all day.
In France and Italy children traditionally tack paper fish on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local language, “poisson d’avril!” and “pesce d’aprile!” in French and Italian respectively.
But where did April’s Fools originate? The earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392).
In the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” it states it’s setting, Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Yet many Chaucer Scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon. And therefore he meant 32 days after April, i.e. May 2, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean “March 32″, i.e. April 1. In Chaucer’s tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.
Will you be the Fool or the Prankster on April 1st? Have any good jokes in your office? Please share them with us in a comment below!