I’m a fan jokes. I’m a fan of laughing as often as possible, preferably to the point where my stomach hurts and I have tears streaming down my face.
But my humor is more of the dry and witty variety or the plain just being silly with my girlfriends kind. And when I’m overtired? Watch out. My goofiest side is likely to come out.
Practical jokes? Not really my thing. I guess I worry that the joke will somehow offend or hurt someone’s feelings, maybe even my own.
I have to say though, overall I like the idea of a day dedicated to getting a laugh. We could all use more of that in our lives.
This got me thinking about how April Fools’ came to be and what some of the most famous jokes have been. I was also curious to discover what some of the traditions are behind this lighthearted national holiday. Because even though I won’t be partaking in any extreme joking, I know lots of other people will honor this day in their own way.
Here’s some of what I learned:
* In 1996 Taco Bell took out an ad in six major newspapers announcing, “In an effort to help the National Debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’ and will still be accessible to the American Public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country’s debt.” People were outraged until Taco Bell announced it was an April Fools’ joke. It’s considered one of the top hoaxes of all time.
* Another joke by a fast food chain? Burger King announcing its invention of the “Left-Handed Whopper,” which rotated the condiments 180 degrees for the optimal satisfaction of left-handed customers. Only after thousands rushed to order it, did Burger King announce its hoax.
* April Fools’ Day is celebrated all over the world. In Iran, the tradition goes as far back as 536 BC.
* In France schoolchildren will try and tape a cut out fish on a friend’s back, hoping not to get caught.
* In Portugal the joke is a little more obvious. Expect to have flour thrown at you for the traditional April Fools’ gag.
If all of this April Fools’ talk still doesn’t have you ready to face the day, check out this playlist of ten songs that will surely inspire you.
Thank you for the wonderful gift of a sense of humor. Today is a good reminder to not always take life so seriously. Wherever you are, wherever the day takes you, don’t forget to have a good laugh.