People have celebrated April Fool’s Day for centuries, but no one quite knows why or how the holiday originated and why it has become tradition to play practical jokes on everyone possible.
“I like it when it’s on a school day. I usually mess with a bunch of people on April Fools,” said Regan Campbell, TJC art major and practical joker.
According to nationalgeographic.com, one theory is that the holiday originated in France. In the 16thcentury, France was supposedly celebrating New Years in April. They decided they should change this to match the ancient Roman calendar which had the New Year starting in January. Well, some people didn’t get the memo and still celebrated the New Year in April. These people were ridiculed and became known as the “April fools,” thus the possible origin of the holiday.
Although this is an amusing story and provides a great anecdote, it is only a theory. A cloud of mystery still remains around the origin of April Fools; a mystery that might never be solved.
But no matter why people celebrate it, it is an official holiday celebrated by many. April Fools offers an excuse to practical jokers out there to pull out all the stops to create the best pranks they can.
“When else can you get away with all of this?” Campbell said.
“I think it’s a little over-rated. People go to the extremes to make jokes when you can make jokes every day,” Kendal Huckabee, a freshman nursing major said.
These pranks can be on a small scale, affecting only those closest, or they can be on a large scale: worldwide even.
In 1957, BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation, executed one of the greatest media hoaxes in history. “Panorama,” BBC’s news program, issued a report detailing the successful spaghetti crop that a little place in Switzerland was experiencing. Much of the success of the crop was attributed to the nice weather and most importantly, to the eradication of the spaghetti weevil. Now, this report sounds incredible and ridiculous, but the BBC had such convincing video footage of Swiss citizens plucking spaghetti from their trees, that many people were convinced it was true, leaving them wondering how it was possible to grow spaghetti noodles. To see the video of this news report, go to “Panorama-April Fool’s Day Hoax-Spaghetti Harvest-1st April 1957” on YouTube.
The Internet is chock-full of some of the greatest pranks ever done, but many people are not looking to perform some elaborate hoax, but want merely to play a few jokes on their closest friends.
Some examples of a few simple jokes are: super glue a quarter or a dollar bill to the floor in a semi-busy area, and just sit back and watch while people attempt to pick up the money. Dust some baby powder into a friend or roommates hair dryer without them knowing, and when they go to dry their hair they will get sprayed in the face with baby powder; or for a variation on that prank, put some confetti into your victim’s air conditioner vents and when they start their car, the confetti will fly into their face. Buy some fake insects and lay them around the house, or freeze them into ice cubes, tape plastic wrap over the toilet, or just tape the lid closed, boil eggs then place them back into the carton or scrape the white filling out of Oreos and replace it with toothpaste. All of these pranks are easy and take very little time to execute.
Other jokes include: Taking a squirt gun into the bathroom and squirting it a few times over the wall at the neighboring stall occupant while pretending to pee, or hide a small radio in the ceiling tiles over someone’s desk or in their bedroom and turn it on very softly.
Now, there is always the likelihood of a joke going awry and someone getting upset, and pranksters have to be careful about how far they take it. For example, when Campbell played an innocent prank on one of his friends it went horribly awry. His friend was taking a hot shower and Campbell took a big bucket of ice water and sliced pickles, dumped it over the curtain, and his friend ended up getting pneumonia. He got better, but no one could have foreseen that.
“It’s funny till someone gets hurt, and there are medical bills to pay,” Geoffrey Traylor, a TJC art major said.
When all is said and done, however, April Fool’s is a fun holiday. Campbell offers some advice to all those jokers out there.
“Know your skill. Make it custom. Do your own thing,” Campbell said.
One just has to be careful and make sure that everything is safe and that when the words, “April Fools” exit their lips that it won’t be while having to run away from their victim.
For all prankees out there, “Run, run for your life,” TJC art major, Robert Sanchez said.
Please joke responsibly.