Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day is widely believed to have started in the 1500's when the Gregorian calendar took over from the Julian and thus moved New Year's Day from April 1 to January 1. Those who forgot, or could be convinced otherwise and continued to celebrate on April 1 were teased as "April Fools'"! There are, of course other versions and many traditions of how this day should be observed. An interesting article can be found at; http://www.snopes.com/holidays/aprilfools/origins.asp

"1957: BBC fools the nation: The BBC has received a mixed reaction to a spoof documentary broadcast this evening about spaghetti crops in Switzerland.
The hoax Panorama programme, narrated by distinguished broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, featured a family from Ticino in Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest.
It showed women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry.
But some viewers failed to see the funny side of the broadcast and criticised the BBC for airing the item on what is supposed to be a serious factual programme.
Others, however, were so intrigued they wanted to find out where they could purchase their very own spaghetti bush.
Exotic delicacy
Spaghetti is not a widely-eaten food in the UK and is considered by many as an exotic delicacy.
Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti.
He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.
This is believed to be one of the first times the medium of television has been used to stage an April Fools Day hoax."
Quoted from the BBC website. A video can be found at:

I've never been a huge fan of practical jokes, but in my teens and early20's, I did make a few prank calls, most; your old school type stuff. There was one call I made that really worked well, but it was not an April Fools' Day prank so I will save that story for another time!
I do, however recall a couple of April Fools' Day pranks that occurred while I was going to a post secondary school in a small southern Manitoba town in the late 1970's and living in a dorm. The girls pretty much behaved - but the guys? Well they had a little late night fun on the eve of April 1. Around midnight, several of the guys walked to a teachers home about a 1/2 mile or so away. The teacher had a small car and had left it in the car port as usual. The guys quietly lifted the car and turned it 90 degrees so it was sitting sideways in the port! It took the teacher over 20 minutes to get out of his driveway April Fools' morning. He knew it was the guys dorm that was responsible but I don't think he ever got the names of those who did it. He was a little annoyed but also thought it was a great joke and told the story for years!

That same night, a few of the same guys and others also moved a VW bug of a fellow male student, from it's usual spot. There was a big church about half a block away that had a large wide staircase. At the top of the 10 or 12 stairs was a wide area where people gathered just outside the church doors before and after services. Yup, you guessed it, the car was pushed to the church, then carried up the stairs and placed sideways in front of the doors! The church wasn't overly impressed, but they didn't make a big fuss. The same guys that moved it ended up having to help get it down, but there were no hard feelings.

There is a lot of temptation out there to pull a fast one on someone, but if you do, please be careful and don't do anything that you wouldn't want done to you! Payback can be a real bitch!



Sandy said...

The spaghetti clip was so funny!!! Thanks for sharing the history of April Fool's Day!!

dnsyl57 said...

Thanks Sandy.

It appears, I have inadvertantly pulled a practical joke today. At noon today, I saw a piece on our local newscast regarding a video from the BBC about "Flying Penguins". I thought it was guite funny and so found a link on line and sent it to 13 of my friends on the wiki. Here is what I said;

Don't know if you've seen the news today, but you should check out this link and the video that goes with it!!

Well, as I type this I have heard from 3 people - one got it and two thought it was a serious video! OMG! I assumed that everyone knew about the BBC's history with elaborate practical jokes on April Fools' Day. I really wasn't trying to pull a fast one on anyone, Sorry folks, hope you are all still speaking to me!


leelu said...

I am so hungry for homegrown spaghetti right about now! Wouldn't that be fabulous? "The freshest spaghetti money can buy!" The funniest detail was the "spaghetti weevil." lol

The penguin video was outstanding. Thanks for sharing! I sent my husband an e-card today that said, "I uploaded a photo of you - just choose the frame and background, then enjoy!" It took him a few minutes and in the end... the photo was actually a chimpanzee. He nearly jumped out of his skin! I love being married to a gullible man. :)
Happy April!

dnsyl57 said...

I think that pasta tree would be a little to hard to care for - especially here in Canada!!

I actually had lemon pepper linguini for supper - now that's hard to grow!! LOL!!

The closest thing to homegrown spaghetti is the "spaghetti squash" - I SWEAR there really is such a thing! It's not bad with pasta sauce and grated parmesin on top but it isn't as good as real pasta!