Do You Know What Day This Is?

It was a sunny Wisconsin morning the first time it happened. My mother screamed and ran into our bedroom waking my sister Patty and me from a sound slumber. I thought my small heart would explode. I bolted from our shared bed and followed her to the picture window of our apartment.

“There’s a purple polka-dotted elephant walking down the street!” she shouted.

“What? Where?”

When my little sister joined me in squinting through the glaring window, she said, “April Fools,” and then laughed. I didn’t think it was very funny at the time.

Through the years, I have played tricks on friends and family. My children ran to the window searching for purple giraffes, along with other strange colored creatures. I know. I am so mean. It must be genetic. Every year, I have tried to come up with new ways to trick my husband, such as, “By the way, we’re having company for dinner, so if you could stop and pick up some wine and a few things at the grocery store and then come home early to help me clean, that would be great. (Wait for it…) APRIL FOOLS!” The relief on his face is always worth it!

Yesterday, I checked my phone’s April calendar and noticed little lines under the some of the dates.  I didn’t remember saving any appointments, so I checked them out. April 22nd is Earth Day. The 15th is dreaded Tax Day. And the 1st is… April Fools’ Day!

Wait a minute… It occurred to me that if phones list April Fools’ as a holiday, everyone will know and no one will be fooled. That could begin the extinction of the holiday!

Ugh. That would be terrible. I have always looked forward to a day of pranking.

Aprilsnar_2001

April Fools in Denmark. No. A subway car did not crash through the ground…

How did it begin anyway? There are conflicting reports which is no surprise since this is April Fools we are talking about. The following explanation gets my vote. During the Middle Ages, the first of the year was celebrated at the end of March. Then in the 1500’s, Pope Gregory XIII changed the Gregorian Calendar to start on January 1st.  Bells would toll across the land to “fool” other fools into thinking the 1st of the year still began in April.

I never noticed that the Pope named the calendar after himself! He died on April 10th. Irony or coincidence???

During the 1800’s in France, the first of the year changed to January 1st. People who celebrated on April 1st were ridiculed in that country as well.

“Ha. You peasants are such idiots…”

Today, in Italy, France, and Belgium, pranksters will stick a picture of a fish on their unsuspecting target’s back and then shout, “April Fish!”

April Fish

WHAT? That is so lame! How did that one start? Were they fed up with being called fools and substituted fish? And did they originally use real fish back in the day? Did they use minnows or mackerels? Apparently, that variation has something to do with the astrological sign Pisces.

April Fools’ Day will be celebrated in many countries today. Thanks Wikipedia for that specific information. How will we play any practical jokes if everyone knows and is already suspicious? My advice is to strike early before your friends and family have their first cup of coffee.

“Roxy! Look at that pink coyote trotting down the street!”

Purple spotted Roxy1

Consider this heads up, my gift to you. Now get out there and prank someone!

Do you plan to fool anyone?

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86 Comments

Filed under Humor, Life, Photography

86 responses to “Do You Know What Day This Is?

  1. No joke, this was an awesome post, Susie!

    • Awww! Thanks Hook! I really was surprised by how many agreed with me in wanting to keep their scars. So many have their own harrowing stories to tell. They all remind us of lessons learned, at least I hope I learned something!

  2. Ours was quiet “this” year. I think too much is going on.
    Perhaps, next year. They know better than to try and prank me cus I will get back!

  3. Love the fish on the back bit. Too funny!! I spent the day working on a short fiction about a “fool” for the DPChallenge, so I didn’t get a chance to prank anyone. This post, though, made remember this BBC piece that first aired in 1957. I think you’ll like it, if you haven’t already seen it:

  4. Paul

    I’m usually very careful on April 1, but somebody did get me (briefly!) on Facebook. A couple I know who are expecting posted that they’d found out they were having twins. I posted a “Congratulations!”, only to realize (within about 30 seconds, fortunately) that it was a joke. DELETE!

  5. I just knew you’d get up to something for April 1st, Susie! I’m sad to say.. I didn’t prank, nor was I pranked.. not a fish in sight for me:D

  6. Why don’t I have any difficulty believing you play the prank?! Me – I didn’t notice we’d made it to April until, I don’t know, yesterday I think. :)

    • This week has flown since it was just Easter on Sunday. I had to pull at least one prank and it was on my husband, but the kids are working so hard in school, I didn’t have the heart!
      Thanks Alarna!

  7. Very amusing!
    I haven’t a hope any more. Every remark I make on 1st April is regarded with grave suspicion, even if I simply say it’s a nice day when it is.

  8. Pesce d’Aprile, yes means April Fish

  9. I treat every day like its April Fool’s Day, so yesterday was pretty quiet. Actually, it was too quiet….hmmm…..

  10. You will be pleased (dismayed?) to know that no fools were harmed during my April 1st festivities.

  11. That fish was planning a foul deed by the looks of things Susie, belated April Fool’s day greetings!

  12. It seems like you hear more often about pranks backfiring than actually going well. I wonder why that is?

  13. Hey Susie there is a polka dotted elephant somewhere in the world extremely sad they you make fun of him lol
    i used to love it when we were growing. Up
    those pics are so funny
    have a great day, wish you fun and giggles. :)

  14. In Sweden the prank has make people take at least 5 steps … otherwise it’s not a successful 1th April prank. The best one … I went for was when Swedish TV … while TV still was black and white told us if we put a tights in front the screen we would get color TV – I think 95% of all viewers destroyed a pair of tights. Brilliant.

  15. I don’t have the energy to prank anyone as I’ve been sick for almost 3 weeks, but neither have I been fooled on this day. This morning I’m pretty sure my radio station was playing a prank because the usual 2 morning guys weren’t there and in their stead were 2 really obnoxious guys. It took me a minute or two to figure out what the f%&* was going on. At least I hope it was a prank because otherwise I’ll have to find a new favorite station.

    You and your tricks – you little trickster. You’re like Kokopelli.

    Love Roxy’s spots. Or does she have the puppy measles?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Hahaha! Roxy has a case of Microsoft Paint.
      There was an AP in the newspaper today about a flea circus that had frozen to death in Russia. I couldn’t find any other prank, but it was pretty funny!
      There is so much junk going around. I was exposed to my daughter and my husband who got the dreaded funk. My daughter is finally over it. My husband is calling the doctor as I type! I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  16. I’m terrible at coming up with clever pranks for April Fools Day. However, my husband pulled a good one on me right after we were married. We were moving into our new apartment on April 1 and he came into the kitchen and asked, “Where do you want me to put this box of our wedding china?” and then dropped it on the floor with a china-shattering crash. I turned 50 shades of pale. “April Fools!” He had emptied the box and refilled it with old light bulbs, a hammer, and other crash-sounding material. Not funny.

  17. Thanks for the reminder! I used to fool my daughter all the time telling her I was pregnant! Then one year I really was. Oops! I think this year, since she up and ran off to Hawaii, I’m going to tell her we’re all coming to live with her. Bwahahahaha! She’ll D.I.E. It will be great.

    As for my husband and son… I’m off to get some fish. They should enjoy that. What a fun post! You’re always a font of awesome information.

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

    Love the pic of Roxy.

  18. Today is my sister’s birthday. No fooling.

  19. filbio

    Oh, those crazy Europeans and their April Fish.

    Speaking of April Fools Day I have an appointment to get my taxes done later today. Hope the joke won’t be on me!

    • Fools and taxes – What a combo! Good luck to you!
      I hadn’t heard about April Fish until I started blogging. One of my French friends wrote about the tradition. So very strange!
      Thanks Phil!

  20. giggles. Fish leave you with smelly hands and it would be too easy to figure out who did it? So they had to scale back?
    Happy happy to you!

  21. I always get caught but never can prank.. I am just the assistant.. Again I need you in my life:)
    Happy April Fools Day

  22. I’ve gotten caught numerous years. This year, I think I’ll stay home. LOL Fun post, Susie! Happy April Fools’ Day. :)

  23. Yes…, I know what day it is !!!! Where I live it’s Dyngus Day ! If you’re Polish you know what that is. If you’re not, mabybe not. It’s almost as much fun as April Fool’s Day. WHAT IS DYNGUS DAY?
    Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of lent and the joy of Easter. Over the decades, Dyngus Day has become a wonderful holiday to celebrate Polish-American culture, heritage and traditions.
    HOW DID IT START?
    There are many stories that attempt to explain the origins of the day. Many Polish customs date back to pre-Christian practices of our Slavic ancestors. The custom of pouring water is an ancient spring rite of cleansing, purification, and fertility. The same is true of the complimentary practice of switching with pussy willow branches. Since 966 A.D., Dyngus Day has been associated with the baptism of Prince Mieszko I. Tradition states that Prince Mieszko I along with his court were baptized on Easter Monday. Thus, Dyngus Day and its rites of sprinkling with water have become a folk celebration in thanksgiving for the fact that the first king of Poland was baptized into Christianity, bringing Catholicism to Poland. In more modern times, the tradition continued when farm boys in Poland wanted to attract notice from the girls of their choice. It was custom to throw water and hit the girls on their legs with twigs or pussywillows. Cologne was used instead of water by the more gallant lads. The ladies would reciprocate by throwing dishes & crockery and Tuesday was their day of revenge, imitating the same tactics.
    WHAT DOES THE WORD DYNGUS MEAN?
    According to the Encyclopedia Staropolska written in the 19th century by A. Gloger, the word can be traced back to a medieval form of the word “Dingnus,” which means “worthy, proper, or suitable.” Gloger cites a used of the word, namely “ranson during a war to protect against pillage,” as well as a German usage of “Dingen,” which means “to come to an agreement, evaluate or buy back.”
    It’s celebrated with Kraut, Kielbasa, and a lot of beer !!!
    Have a great day !

  24. Not a fan of April Fools. Too mean spirited, especially at work.

  25. Our tennis pro used wonky balls at the clinic this morning when all four of us stepped up to practise our serves. We looked like idiots and couldn’t figure out why we were all so terrible until he burst out laughing. The rest of us had totally forgotten it was April 1! It was a good gotcha! Have a good one, Susie, and let us know what prank you pull!

    • I got him. I shouted, “Look! We have our first swan on the pond!” It was pretty quiet out there except for a mallard… Heehee!
      I have tennis tonight and will be on the lookout!

  26. Thanks for reminding me…I’m off to prank my daughter!

  27. I’m not very good at pranking people, more often than not I’m the one being pranked… sad…

  28. This is my favorite day. I’m known for pulling some pretty elaborate (and, okay, mean) pranks. Once I told my manager at work I had discovered that my husband was cheating on me. With his best friend. Another man. Who happened to be the husband of my assistant manager. She fell for it completely because several of us were in on it, including my husband and the man he was ‘having an affair’ with. It was a long drawn out prank and was sooooo worth the look on her face. This was payback though for several pranks she had pulled on me.

  29. Awesome! I used to love pranking people but I’m so lame at it these days. I like the fish tradition, that’s funny.

  30. Just wanted everyone to know that I recieved the Novel Piece Price this morning.

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