Foolish or Fool Proof?

Is April Fool’s day a real holiday?

Foolish or Fool Proof?

Sofia Hughes and Harris Jones

Harris Jones | staff writer

April Fool’s Day, also known as All Fool’s day, is not considered a national holiday; however, traditions pertaining to the holiday are practiced in numerous countries.

While exact origins are unknown, historians believe it may have something to do with France in 1582, when the French switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

Before this, the beginning of a new year was celebrated in the last week of March through April instead of Jan.1, like in today’s time. When many failed to receive this news or recognize the change, people began to be considered fools by the general public — hence, April Fool’s Day.

History aside, April Fool’s Day isn’t just some holiday we made up to put a bucket of water above the door, prank call your local pizza place or put a “kick me” sign on someone’s back — it actually seems to stem from a historical event. Many people, however, feel this holiday isn’t really a valid one, believing you outgrow it at a young age; they tire of those who take it too far, making April 1 a pain for everyone else, or they tire of corporations putting things out to get in on it and make themselves seem human to the general public.

This begs the question of what a “valid holiday” actually is. Someone might argue people don’t get a day off from school or work, but people typically don’t for their birthdays or Valentine’s Day, for example, which is a heavily promoted holiday.

For those who take it too far, obviously that is far from OK and shouldn’t be done, but things like practical jokes can be fun if done right — key words there are “done right.” If you know it is going to hurt someone either physically, emotionally or socially, just stay away from it — it’s just supposed to be light-hearted fun.

As for the corporations, as annoying as it can be, there’s been some solid jokes out there — let the bored intern have their fun.

While this holiday is largely kid centric, we shouldn’t shame young kids for wanting to play a fun joke on someone. As long as the jokes or pranks you’re playing aren’t hurting someone, there shouldn’t be a problem with it.

Just make sure you and the victim of your joke are safe and happy. So, go ahead and hide little plastic babies around, have a band follow your principal around school, confuse people a little — but still be sure to put a smile on their face.

 

Sofia Hughes | staff writer

April Fool’s Day is not a real holiday and should not be celebrated as such. Pranks make a mockery out of mockery.

In every prank, there’s a setup and a punchline. Let’s take a prank your mom has probably pulled on you: the magic water bottle. In the setup, your mom takes you outside and places a quarter under a plastic water bottle, and she tells you she can make it disappear. She covers it with a towel and pulls it away, tells you the quarter is gone. But here comes the punchline. You’re a trusting, loving child, and you look to see if the quarter is gone. Your mom squeezes the water bottle and splashes water all over you. The water splash in this situation is not the punchline — you are.

Of course, this is an overdramatic example. A splash of water is harmless, but many pranks aren’t. The worst of pranks depend on making a joke out of the person they are being played on, and it simply becomes uncomfortable and frustrating. YouTube prank channels make their livings by lying to people and making them feel awful; notable pranks include fake breakups, fake murders and fake kidnappings. Then the pranksters reveal that it’s a prank, as if that fact makes a lie not a lie or pain not pain. Those are the worst of pranks, though.

The best of pranks are harmless and do nothing more than confuse and bemuse. In elementary school, I hid behind my kitchen counter and glued googly eyes to every item I could in the fridge. Pranks like this are harmless, and they bring a simple kind of joy to the world that we all want more of — but these kinds of pranks don’t happen on April Fool’s Day, and even when they do, they don’t have the intended effect.

When something confusing happens on the first of April, you expect it. You wake up knowing it’s April Fool’s Day, so when Google announces a new invention or your mom brings you Oreos unexpectedly, you know the invention is just for PR and the Oreos are filled with toothpaste.

These amusing, confusing pranks are normal and dismissed. April Fool’s Day is a bogus holiday filled with bogus pranks only done because of the date. To participate in the true spirit of pranks, do nothing on April 1, then surprise ‘em in July.