Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DODGE PRANKSTERS OR THEY WILL DODGE YOU!

 "April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four." - Mark Twain

MAHTAB BASHIR, 
ISLAMABAD

Beware folks today is April Fool's Day. So be on your toes and mentally alert for unforeseen pranks, practical jokes and other forms of mischief. Some people love to spend days thinking up gags to pull on their friends and family, while others love a little impromptu prank here and there. On the day, most people, especially youngsters, make fun of others by telling fake stories and hitting them with practical jokes.

The day has assumed the shape of the 'funniest day' of the year in some countries, as people send greetings, jokes and exchange funny SMSs to their. Unlike most of the other non-foolish holidays, the history of April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear.

The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the New Year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25.

However, communications being what they were in the days when news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years.
Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1.

The general populace labeled these backward folk as "fools". They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on "fools errands" or were made the butt of other practical jokes.

This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century.

April Fool's Day thus developed into an international fun-festival, so to speak, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.

In Scotland, for example, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool's Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day.
The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.

April Fool's Day is a "for-fun-only" observance. Nobody is expected to buy gifts or to take their "significant other" out to eat in a fancy restaurant.

Nobody gets off work or school. It's simply a fun little holiday in most part of the world, but a holiday on which one must remain forever vigilant, for he may be the next April Fool. Beware!

Published in Daily Times http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/01-Apr-2010/april-fool-s-day-dodge-pranksters-or-they-will-dodge-you