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Category: April Fools Day
Creepy April Fool Masks
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 21, 2012
I came across these creepy April Fool masks from 1930 on eBay. Or rather, it's an auction for an article from 1930 about April Fool masks. I've never heard of mask-wearing being part of April Fool's tradition in any country. But I'm sure it would freak people out if you showed up somewhere, such as work, wearing one of these things. Especially that pig mask.
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (1)
In my article about the origin of April Fool's Day, which I wrote a few years ago, I noted that the first explicit reference to April 1st being a day for pranks can be found in a poem written in late-medieval Dutch (around 1561) by Eduard De Dene. The title of the poem is "Refereyn vp verzendekens dach / Twelck den eersten April te zyne plach." Marco Langbroek kindly translated this for me as: "Refrain on errand-day / which is the first of April." But it recently occurred to me that although I knew about the poem, and had the title translated, I had never seen the full text of the poem itself. And in fact,…
The April Fool’s Day Jinx
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 06, 2012
A few times when I've done interviews about April Fool's Day, I've been asked whether the tradition of foolery on April 1st is dying out because, despite the day's popularity online, most people don't celebrate it. My answer is that April Fool's Day has always been ignored by the majority of the population, but the influence of the celebration can be seen in what people don't do on April 1. Even people who have never played a prank in their entire life, will nevertheless acknowledge the tradition by not scheduling important events, such as weddings, on the day. Also many businesses avoid making major announcements on April 1. A case in point…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (3)
Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 05, 2012
On April 1st of this year, hundreds of thousands of men with mustaches are going to gather in Washington, DC to demand tax equity for Mustached Americans. They're hoping to persuade Congress to adopt the Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act, or STACHE Act. The act would allow Mustached Americans to claim tax deductions for expenses such as: Mustache and beard trimming instruments, mustache wax and weightless conditioning agents, Facial hair coloring products (for men and women over 43 years of age), bacon, mustache combs and mirrors, DVD collections of "Magnum P.I." and "Smokey & The Bandit," mustache insurance (now required by state law in Alabama, Oregon, Maine, and New Mexico, and Puerto Rico),…
Happy April Fool’s Day, 2010!
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 01, 2010
Happy April Fools! I've been busy working on my book, but April 1st has managed to pull me back to the site. Last year I posted a brief rant about the origin of April Fool's Day, explaining how every year reporters write articles claiming that the most likely origin of the holiday is the Gregorian calendar reform of the late 16th century. This explanation gets trotted out every year, even though there's just no way it's true. Last year I noted: I realize it's probably overly optimistic to expect reporters to do much fact checking when…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (19)
Severed Arm Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 11, 2009
A strange April Fool's Day prank: A Ministry of Fisheries worker on a trawler in subantarctic waters radioed his superior to tell him that a human arm had been found in the water. Specifically, his message said: "Me again. We had a rather gruesome catch in tonight's shot. The remains of a human arm. It has been taken off below the elbow and it is not a clean cut. Yuk. It hasn't been in the water for very long, and I was wondering if any of the Russian boats has had an accident. The captain has been on the radio to the Korean…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (2)
Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Skeptic
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 17, 2009
If there's one thing I've learned from running a website it's that you can't please everyone. And apparently my selection of the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest as the #1 April Fool's Day Hoax of All Time hasn't pleased Mike Jones, staff writer for the Gaylord Herald Times. I recently stumbled upon this comment he made in his column: All-time hoax, not! One thing we like here at the old “5 Nuggets of Knowledge” is “best of and top 10” lists. We recently came across “The Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time.”…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (24)
The Dark Side of April Fool’s Day
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
For some, April Fool's Day means innocent fun. For others it appears to be an invitation to explore the dark corners of their twisted psyches. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why every April 1st stories like this one, featuring a woman who "pranked" her brother-in-law by calling him and telling him that her 1-year-old child wasn't breathing, appear in the news.
The New Number One April Fool’s Day Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
According to the Chicago Tribune, 18,786,325 people viewed Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" video on YouTube on April 1st. That indicates the number of victims that were RickRolled by pranksters on April Fool's Day. Which means that in only two years, rickrolling has risen from nothing to become the most popular April Fool's Day prank, eclipsing even the classic "trick a victim into phoning the zoo" prank. [Chicago Tribune]
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (0)
Enforcer Skunks
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
There's a lot of speculation in the town of York, New Hampshire Maine about the skunk signs that were placed on many traffic-enforcement signs on April 1st. The signs feature hand-painted, smiling skunks wearing yellow sashes with the word "Enforcer" painted on. The signs also have a drawing of a zebra with the statement, "Whoever says they did it, didn't do it." When asked if the police were going to be contacted, Community Development Director Steve Burns said, "They're our No. 1 suspect." After collecting all the signs, Burns received a mysterious note made from words cut out of newspapers: "Honorary special agent Burns, enforcer skunks in your protective custody ... Be watchful.…
Fake Parking Tickets
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 07, 2009
• People are angry at a bar in New Zealand for placing fake parking tickets on thousands of cars in Auckland as an April Fool's Day prank/promotional stunt. The thing is, these fake tickets weren't like the typical ones that, upon examination, are obviously fake. These were exactly identical to real tickets in every detail except for listing a different website and phone number. As a publicity stunt, I'd say it crosses the line. [stuff.co.nz]
Categories: April Fools Day, Pranks Comments (1)
Over-Reacting
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
• A slight over-reaction, perhaps. Two guys at a science park pranked a colleague on April 1st by moving his car. When the guy couldn't find his car, the science-park security force naturally thought it must be a terrorist threat and evacuated the entire building. [Chester Evening Leader]. Update: Here's a link that should work. Plus, this article (unlike the first one I linked to) makes clear that what actually happened is that the guys moved the car into a restricted parking lot, meant only for nuclear engineers, which is why the security got nervous.
No NASCAR
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
Car and Driver's April Fool's Day hoax claiming that President Obama had ordered that Chevrolet and Dodge withdraw from NASCAR seems to have been one of the few AF hoaxes this year that actually fooled a significant number of people. [USA Today]
Categories: April Fools Day, Politics Comments (1)
Worst April Fools?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
An online brokerage, Zecco, pretended to give customers multi-million trading accounts on April 1st. Funny until customers began doing actual trades with the money. Lots of blogs were linking to this story, calling it the worst April Fool's ever. (I'm not sure about that. It's still not as bad as some on the official list.) But now the company is saying it was an accident, not a purposeful prank.
Ambiguous April Fools
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 02, 2009
Every year on April 1st there are a few news items that stump me. Are they, or are they not, April Fools? Here are the puzzlers from this year: Virgin's Animal Active gym for pets The video for it looks like a spoof, and the language of the press release sounds kind of jokey: The health club, which is being called Animal Active, is scheduled to open its doors later this year and will be a haven for animals in need of exercise or lifestyle management. Trained exercise…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (10)
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