In which we learn that our reluctant hero always gets up early for a reason.
A pinch and a punch for the first of the month. Eek… It’s April Fools Day again folks.
Did everybody make it to midday without being duped by some excellent jape or tomfoolery? Of course you didn’t.
What was it this year? Cling film over the toilet? Liam Gallagher on Strictly, perhaps? Or the EU announcing that all new European passports are going to be blue? I do hope that one turns out to be true.
I, unlike you gullible Fools, did, mainly as I don’t believe anything that anybody says to me. Ever. Especially when it’s three and five-year olds banging on about chocolate crocodiles roaming the roads near Maspalomas Lighthouse all morning, and part of the afternoon. The jokes are on you, kids. Well, those made after lunch at least.
Anyway, to mark this not-all-that-special-at-all occasion, I have unearthed some interesting facts about April Fools Day from the internet and the far depths of my noggin, all of which are, of course, 100% bonafide. Probably.
- Arguably the most famous British April Fool of all time ever was concocted by those notorious japesters at the BBC who, in 1957, broadcast an episode of Panorama featuring the spaghetti farmers of Ticino, Switzerland. It is of course easy to mock, knowing now that it is linguine grown there.
- It is not known for sure where the name “April” derives, but a popular belief is that its origins lie in the Latin word “aperire” meaning “to open.” The King James Bible adds weight to this explanation, pointing out that first day that Jesus was allowed to open his Easter eggs usually falls within it.
- Those wacky jokers, The French, started the custom of playing tricks on April 1st during the mid 1500’s, or at about half past three in new money. At this time, there was a shift away from the Julian calendar, having the New Year in April, to the current Gregorian calendar, crazily placing New Year in January. Many French people refused to adhere to the shift as they preferred their months to run alphabetically, and it is from this ridiculous behaviour that the term “April Fool” derives.
- Staying in France, an “April Fools” joke is known as “Poisson d’Avril” which, translated, means “Bovril Fish.”
- After years of falling for the old same trick of having his shoelaces together and face-planting into meatballs, chips and a half melted Daim Bar, Swedish cobbler Olaf Proli took dramatic action in 1937 and invented the slip-on shoe.
- Playing an April Fools trick after midday in the shires of Wolverhamptonshire not only means that you receive a pithy tweet from a local Tory councillor, but a bizarre local by-law means that the offence is also punishable by drowning in the local paddling pool.
- Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg will be forever associated with April Fools shenanigans after inventing the Whoopee Cushion on 1st April 1968 while trying to trick her visiting grandfather.
And that pretty much covers things. Other notable hoaxes include Burger King’s left-handed Whopper, finding of the body of the Loch Ness monster, and 2016’s classic “We send the EU £350 million a week – let’s fund our NHS instead” which seemingly fooled over half of Blighty. And it wasn’t even made up in April. Comedy genius. Probably.