Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April and Its Fools

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

"The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fool's Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment."
--Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)

According to the website All Fools Day, the origins of the April Fool and the pranks associated with the day are not entirely certain, although there seems to be a link to spring, the vernal equinox, and the capricious weather that Mother Nature "fools" us with at this time. The website adds that "In many cultures, tradition dictates that the pranking period must expire at noon on April 1 and any jokes attempted after that hour will bring back luck to the perpetrator. In addition, any who fail to respond with a good humor to tricks played upon them are said to attract bad luck unto themselves. Such victims are, however, entitled to "turn the tables" after the hour of noon with the retort: 'April Fool's gone past...and you're the biggest fool at last!'"

Or perhaps the biggest fool all along. As Mark Twain put it: "The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."

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