Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool!

April Fools' Day is a big deal to a kid. It's the one time you're allowed to play pranks on your friends, your parents and sometimes complete strangers.

I remember when I was young that the prank-playing was only supposed to be part of the day. But that could have been a regional thing, as nowadays one has to be on guard throughout the whole day, rather than just until noon.

Most of the time the pranks were good-natured, such as the false stories newspapers might print on that day, or, for a kid, telling a friend her shoelace was untied or telling a parent that your younger sister was stuck in a tree (make sure said sister doesn't follow you into the room when you try that).

Of course, there are always those that go too far with their "humor". I don't remember what grade it was when things shifted from planning jokes for the day to just trying to survive the day. Taped signs, water fountain mishaps, deliberate trips or shoves, all excused with an "April Fool!"

At least it was only one day out of the year. Unfortunately, some people try to continue throughout the year, excusing their behavior with a "Psych!" or "Just kidding!" and progressing on to "It's just a joke! Can't you take a joke?" I was reminded of that when watching "Tangled" and realizing the emotional abuse the young Rapunzel suffered with the continual "teasing" excused with "Just kidding."

Of course, this provides plenty of material for YA stories. Do you have a continual prankster that, for April Fools' Day, plays no jokes at all? Do you have a young child as a point of view character that likes playing pranks and can't stop? What about a prank-playing cat?

What are some of your memories of the best or worst April Fools' Day?


  1. Oh, I have some bad ones, like when friend gave me a fake lottery ticket which said I won 25K - that was just plain mean.

  2. I don't have any real memorable April Fool's jokes that I can remember. It wasn't a big thing down in Puerto Rico. Don't think it was used to much in New Hampshire when I lived up there as a teen. (That or I've blocked it all out! lol)

    But, yeah, it's a little scary how something can go from a joke to something mean and ugly. Some people just don't get it, I guess.

    And I have to agree with LM Preston, giving out fake Lotto tickets is just mean! Ugh.

  3. April Fool's Day. The other night while surfing TV, I heard an interesting take on the meaning og the day. Seems the colonies and the original states used the old calendar instead of the new one. March 31st was New Years in that calendar so the people who used the old calendar were called April fools.

  4. The only thing I remember about April Fools Day is that when I was teaching the kids loved to catch me with a joke. I was gullible. :)

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  6. Now here is a great April Fools' post by the BBC on penguins.