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Greek-American Stories: April “Foolin” Around

Now that it’s just a couple of weeks away, I have to report to you that April fool’s Day is not a legal holiday. Sorry! So plan on getting up and going to work that day. I’m sure you’d like to know how that day began…I’m telling you, anyway.

I found little proof but I read that it started in England when a king, after years of being fooled in various ways on that day by court jesters and others in his court, had decided to get back at them. So, he announced that the days in March, from now on will be 32 days instead of 31 days. That would erase April 1st. and April would begin on the second. Confusion and frustration brought about arguments and upheaval in the country, especially, when payments were due. On April 1st, the king appeared on his balcony and announced, with laughter, loudly, “April Fool!”

At a later date, a newspaper in Britain, in 1957, had headlines saying that the Italians had invented a tree that produces spaghetti. It photographed women climbing a tree and harvesting strands of spaghetti. The next day, that newspaper received hundreds of orders for a Spaghetti tree, and the following next day it printed in large print, “April Fool.”

But, for your convenience I have listed a few ways to put a little foolery in our, ‘ho, hum’ existence on April 1. Some of us would like to travel to an exotic place like Mozambique or the Amazon. Not me! Some of us, I said! Here’s a little way to achieve that without leaving your house: Put mosquito netting around your bed and play a tape of jungle sounds all night. Don’t forget the mosquito spray! Then, try this for some excitement: When you visit the zoo, start running towards the exit and shout, “Run for your lives! They’re loose!” What about finishing all your sentences with, “in accordance to the prophecy…” Or, when someone asks you to do something for them, end with saying, “Do you want fries with that?” What about calling 911 and asking if it’s the right number for an emergency? That’ll get an interesting response. Or, call the psychic hot line and don’t say anything.

Tell your co-workers you’d like to be called by the professional name you had when you were a wrestler, ‘Rock Bottom’. When on line at the ATM, shout, “I’ve won! I’ve won! It’s the third time this week!” In the memo place on your checks, write, “for keeping my secret.” Sit in your car holding a hair dryer, wear dark sun glasses, and point the dryer in the direction of oncoming cars. See if anyone slows down. At work, stare into your waste basket until you get attention. Then, tell them, “I swear I heard a voice coming from in there.” When in a crowded corner and the light turns green, shout to those coming in the opposite direction, “Coming through! Step aside! Move! Watch it!” When someone greets you with, “Good morning!’ respond with, “Not for long!” When ordering at a drive-thru, tell the person that your order is, ‘to-go!’

That is a partial listing, but, I guarantee that any of the above actions will offer some form of excitement – or, maybe not!

Of course, there are always those with no sense of humor. Avoid them! It’s only one day on the calendar where insanity is accepted in an insane world. You may think such antics outlandish but they aren’t more inappropriate than some of the headlines I’ve read that have appeared in newspapers in the United States, like: “Kids make nutritious snacks,” when they meant the kids made the snacks. Or, “Juvenile Court to try shooting defendant.” Or, what about, “Hospitals are sued by seven foot doctors.” They meant the seven podiatrists. “Miners refuse to work after death.” “Farmer Bill dies in Senate.” (They meant congressional bill, OK?) “Panda mating fails; Veterinarians take over.” “Astronaut takes blame for gas in spacecraft.” How about, “Famous painting found by Tree.”

So, on that day, just watch out, and if you are a recipient of an April Fool’s Day joke, just remember tomorrow is another boring, ‘ho, hum’ day.’ Well, like that wonderful philosopher, Porky Pig, once said, “Tha…tha…that’s all, folks.”

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