March 32nd, or April 1st, is widely known as “April Fool’s Day”. There are many stories about the history of this day and how many countries “celebrate” the event, however, none of these histories are as amusing as the practical jokes and pranks that have appeared.
- “April Fish” day is the simple task of placing a paper fish on the back of an unsuspecting victim so that they walk around all day looking like a “fool”. Popular in Italy, France and Belgium it is a prank that draws laughter April Fool’s Day and any other day such as the adaptive “Kick Me” sign, which is amusing anytime.
- “Spaghetti Trees” was a more intricate prank involving the BBC television program Panorama”. In 1957 the news showed the Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. This was a hoax by itself; however, taking it one step further they claimed a “spaghetti weevil” had been found and all the trees were in danger.
- “Flying Penguins” made their arrival in 2008 once again via the BBC. This April Fool’s Day colony was discovered and an elaborate video was produced starring Terry Jones who walked with the penguins in Antarctica and followed their flight to the Amazon Rainforest.
- “Taco Liberty Bell”, renamed in 1996. It was announced in a full-page ad in The New York Times that Taco Bell purchased the Liberty Bell and changed its name in order to reduce the country’s debt.
Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Some may believe everyday is April Fool’s Day on the Internet, but in 2007 the “Dead Fairy Hoax” was definitely a prank. Images depicting a corpse of a tiny eight-inch creation appeared claiming to be the remains of a fairy. The mummified remains were later sold on eBay for £280.
Have any fond memories of practical jokes or pranks of the past? In the 70’s the very locally famous WROK radio station personalities in Rockford declared they could be seen on channel 1 of everyone’s television. As everyone tuned in they gave instructions on how to wrap a piece of tin foil and strategically place it in various places around your TV to zero in on the picture. The more people that caught on, the more “methods” were called in and the radio pranksters would wave and shout hello to callers claiming to be able to see them. Pie tins, antenna creations, any foil objects were added as callers wanted in on the foolery. Listening to the excitement and picturing people trying to focus their TV’s to see the radio personalities was hilarious! Yes I admit, we tried tuning in to channel 1, but went no further than that.
Hopefully April Fool’s Day this year will not designate you a casualty to an embarrassing practical joke or prank. Be careful out there!