Unlike in past years, April Fools' Day is on April 1 this year. Usually it falls later in the month, but with so much depression and gloom after the crap winter and crap economy, everyone thought we could use a pick-me-up, so the holiday was moved back a few days.
April Fools! Did I get you? OK, so that one was super lame. But generally speaking, April Fools' Day (which falls on April 1 EVERY YEAR) can be a lot of fun. It's a day of pranks and practical jokes and is a blast -- as long as you aren't the one getting pranked.
Many wonder how this tradition of pulling pranks on April 1 got started and it's a good question. It isn't entirely clear when it started. Some think it was related to the change of the calendar in the 1500s that made January 1 the start of the new year rather than April 1. Those that didn't follow the new rule were said to be "fools" and pranked.
However, the first reference to the "holiday" was much earlier than that. It may have been in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which was written in 1392, in which a prank is played in the "Nun's Priest's Tale."
Whatever the history, its current place is obvious. It's the day of pranks. But if you play them, beware and be ready to get pranked in return. Here are a few ideas for various people in your life.
Co-worker: Change the screen saver on your co-worker's computer to either embarrassing photos of them (not too humiliating, please!) or some kind of wraparound text that will prove to be embarrassing and then walk away.
Boyfriend/girlfriend: Break up with them. Always a HILARIOUS way to spend the evening. Just kidding honey! Variation: Fake a pregnancy. Always good for a laugh.
Boss: **Warning: Only attempt this if your boss has a sense of humor and will appreciate the joke. Also only do this if he/she is in a good mood. Change your boss's homepage on their computer to something unexpected. Open their browser and choose Tools-->Options and enter the URL for a new page.
Roommate: Classic short-sheet! Take the top sheet off her bed and tuck the bottom end under the top end of the mattress. After that, pull it down and then fold it back up so that the top end is where it would be if the bed was made normally. Replace the pillow, blanket, etc., and make up the bed like it was before. Your roommate will not be able to slide her feet to the bottom and will likely be super angry (in which case deny, deny, deny) or will laugh a lot.
Best friend: Tell them you saw their mom/boyfriend/husband/dad cheating on their spouse. Should make for a hilarious five minutes while she starts to cry and you revel in your ULTIMATE prank capability. On second thought, this is a bad, bad plan. Try a hand buzzer or fake vomit.
Daughter/Son: When she asks for water, give her vinegar. When she wants yogurt, give her mayo. Put some salt in the sugar bowl. If she is younger than 7, she will probably freak out, but older than that, she will think you're the funniest mom EVER.
All of these, of course, are try at your own peril. Some people don't like to be pranked much at all. Only you know if that is your friend/roommate/spouse. Proceed with care!
Do you ever play pranks?
Image via dumbledad/Flickr