Saturday, April 5, 2014

What did You do for April Fool's Day?

Someone once said, "You can please some of the people, some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time." l searched the internet and discovered that the quote is attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but he didn't say it, at least not exactly that way. It seems the poet John Lydgate penned that quote, and President Lincoln changed it slightly by saying, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

I am not sure if President Lincoln gave proper attribution for the basis of his quote, but it would cast doubt upon his reputation for honesty if he did not.

The theme of fooling people came to the forefront of my consciousness this past Tuesday, April 1st. I don’t know what happens in other countries and other cultures, but here in the United States, April First, or April Fool’s Day, is a day set aside to afflict each other with all manner of practical jokes, followed with a loud declaration of “April Fool’s”. That is an important point to remember, since if you say “April Fool’s” it is understood that all must be forgiven and no grudge can be held past 12:00 AM on April Second.

For me, April 1st came and went with neither any jokes being played on me, nor my playing any jokes on anyone else. And I felt slighted at this oversight.

This is not to say that we do not like April Fool’s day. Our house is in a fairly constant state of laughter. I come from a long line of laughers. My grandfather once waited until a young female friend of my parents had a cup of hot tea to her mouth before he explained that his mother won him in a game of craps. He delighted in seeing her snort and splash her tea all over.

This sense of hilarity has passed to my daughters. When they were little tykes, we arrived home from an outing and I opened the door to the van and announced that the fee for riding in the van was a nose. Eldest, who has developed into an expert at ignoring her father, just walked by me. Middlest, tugged at her nose and declared, with a dry drawl, “My nose doesn’t come off." Littlest, took her thumb and put it between the fingers of her fist and with a bright smile, handed me her “nose.”

When I got inside, Middlest called out with overflowing excitement, “Dad! I finally got my nose to come off; it is on the kitchen counter!” Overcome with curiousity, and a vague sense of dread, I looked on the counter, and there, tucked inside of a tea towel, was a cheese-stick. The very tip protruding from the folds of cloth to look like a nose.

With those stories in mind, it is no surprise that when I brought the topic of playing April Fool’s jokes on people to my daughters. Eldest shared that a male student proposed to his girlfriend and when she accepted, he replied with, “April Fool’s”. Apparently, toying with the affections of a young maiden is unacceptable in the realm of April Fool’s jokes.

Littlest, who is quite practical, and does not see why there is all the hullabaloo over romance, said, “Proposing on April Fool’s Day is almost as dumb as proposing on Valentines Day, except worse!”

At this point, Middlest, unable to contain herself, chimed in furiously indignant. “There is absolutely no reason to wait until April First to prank someone. We don’t need a special day to play practical jokes. Any day of the year is as good as the next. Whoever waits for April Fool’s to prank someone is just stooooopid!”


  1. I was too busy this year to even think about April Fool's jokes. I MUST fix that.

    1. Thankfully, Middlest has given is permission to celebrate this holiday all year long.