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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's April 2nd!

Well, it might be when you're reading this, but as I write it's actually April 1st. Happy April Fool's Day! I'll admit that I'm not much of a pranker, though I do enjoy a good joke. Thankfully my day was pretty uneventful, and I didn't have any tricks played on me. I almost did prank my staff, though. My associate had taken a personal day today and I was the only doctor on staff. My plan was to call the hospital from the parking lot and tell them that I wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be coming in today. Since they wouldn't have a back-up doctor, I knew that would cause them fits. Once I got off the phone, I was going to walk in and tell them "April Fool's!" I know they were pretty happy not to have me do that.

My kids really got into the whole thing. They kept wanting to play tricks on each other and people around them. Being 6 and almost 8, their pranks were pretty harmless and simple, but it was amusing to see them wanting to try. My daughter was excited about putting an ice pack under my son's bedsheet, but he didn't seem to mind.

That got me thinking about where this all started. Here's what Wikipedia says...

The origin of April Fools' Day is obscure. One likely theory is that the modern holiday was first celebrated soon after the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar; the term referred to someone still adhering to the Julian Calendar, which it replaced. In many pre-Christian cultures May Day (May 1) was celebrated as the first day of summer, and signalled the start of the spring planting season. An April Fool was someone who did this prematurely. Another origin is that April 1 was counted the first day of the year in France. When King Charles IX changed that to January 1, some people stayed with April 1. Those who did were called "April Fools" and were taunted by their neighbors. In the eighteenth century the festival was often posited as going back to the times of Noah. An English newspaper article published on April 13th, 1789 said that the day had its origins when he sent the raven off too early, before the waters had receded. He did this on the first day of the Hebrew month that corresponds with April. A possible reference to April Fools' Day can be seen in the Canterbury Tales (ca 1400) in the Nun's Priest's tale, a tale of two fools: Chanticleer and the fox, which took place on March 32nd.

Regardless of the origins, it seems to be a pretty fun and mostly harmless event. Heck, with the bad news we get bombarded with every day, having something to laugh at is pretty nice! Check out the list of pranks in the Wikipedia article. There are some great ones there!