I have rarely participated in April Fools Day pranks and such. It isn’t that I have any disdain for them but I think I am not particularly creative that way. So, when I created a Facebook post about getting married again, people were caught off guard believing me as being serious! And that was key to a good April Fools Day prank.
The text of my Facebook post and the comments to it are attached later in this story. But a look at the origin of April Fools Day is in order.
Nobody is certain as to the origin of April Fools Day. Some believe it dates to the 1500’s when the French calendar used at that time was changed. The calendar signifying the start of the new year was traditionally linked to the beginning of spring. But on the new Roman calendar, the year began on January 1 just as we know it today. People who were slow to adopt the new calendar were often called “April Fools.”
The trickster tradition associated with the day began in Europe in the 1600’s and pranks began to be played. Pranks eventually stuck as a “rite of spring.” The earliest recorded prank occurred in London when people were told to go see the “washing of the lions” at the Tower of London. Of course there was no such thing but the prank continued, mostly targeting tourist visitors through the mid 19th century.
There have been numerous famous pranks throughout the years. My favorites from the 2oth century are “Harvesting Pasta” and “Buying the Liberty Bell.”
According to History.com “On April 1, 1957, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) told viewers that there had been an ‘exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop’ in Switzerland… due to the disappearance of the spaghetti weevil. The BBC showed footage of spaghetti harvesters diligently picking noodles from trees. Some viewers were upset – but some called to ask where they could find a spaghetti bush.”
In 1996, Taco Bell stirred things up a bit when they announced they had purchased the Liberty Bell and were renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” Since then companies have taken advantage of April Fools Day as a marketing gimmick to generate curiosity which might be true.
This year, in advance of April 1, word spread that Volkswagen was changing its name to “Voltswagen” to emphasize a shift to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing. Although EV’s are the future for the company, the name change was only in jest but accomplished the intended purpose of bringing attention to the company and the EV future.
Now to my little prank. On April 1, 2021 I posted the following on my Facebook page. To some it was believable but others quickly understood it as a prank.
“I have decided to get married again. Third time is the charm, right? I really want Joshua Day to be a brother to another child so my future wife must be of child-bearing age. She also must be attractive. I am lining up nominees to become my wife. She must be between the ages of 21 and 33 and prepared to be a mom (experience as a mom is a plus). I have also decided on the name for my next child… Jake (boy) or Jakie (girl). If you, or anyone you know, wants to be a nominee, meeting my criteria, please let me know today (send a photo) as this opportunity is gone tomorrow!”
I did get several responses and the most interesting were:
Joshua Day: I think this lady is interested… does she qualify? She swears she is of child bearing age and she’s very wise.
Kristi Kimmel: You’re nuts!!!!
Mary Ellen: My Dad was always able to “get us” when we were kids.
Lynn Gregory: Be sure to get a full photo! Do not be like Henry the Eighth and see just the face portrait. Then she arrives and you yell I LIKE HER NOT!!!!!!!
Alice Etringer Gamble: OMG, that was too funny!
Elizabeth Maul: Deepest sympathies!!
Phyllis Pritts: Can’t stop laughing!
David Land: Ummmmm good lock with that!
David Deal: Nice one Barry! April fools!
Anna Vinzani Inverso: April fools, good one
In conclusion, it was a fun day with my prank consistent with April Fools Day tradition… I even got a proposal!