The Other I

April 1, 2014

When did we start making fools of ourselves?

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 4:14 pm

The origins of April Fools day are not clear.  Some people say it began with the Roman festival of Hilaria held at the end of March.  Others say it began in the 1500’s with the switch to  the Gregorian calendar that reduced the year from 13 equal lunar months to 12, and moved the celebration of the new year from April 1 to January 1.  Others point to beginnings in India and Iran.  Some Biblical-based claims have even been made that it was Noah with the animals on his ark who began it all.

But really, it’s a wonderful day, isn’t it?  when we can laugh at ourselves and each other for being either clever or naive.

My favourite April Fools’ story is still the BBC’s documentary on the failure of the spaghetti crop in Italy.

But I do rather like the story about the business student who replaced the filling in chocolate Oreo cookies with toothpaste and served them to a friend.


With best wishes for a laugh-filled day.



  1. i read someplace there was a run on pasta in the shops – folks grabbing up a supply before the prices went up. quite funny, actually, but in retrospect how gullible we are in areas that have more far flung repercussions…glopping on to propaganda of one true race or religion (or religion at all???) the news (paper tv etc) or denying global warming for whatever reasons or denial/rationalization of the virulent invasion of our privacy by government or commerce – does go on. but today, humor – healing my personal favorite was as a 6 year old, i switched the sugar for salt in the sugar bowl and my father, who never put sugar in his coffee, put in an overfilled teaspoon into his cup and then reacted with great panache. think it was only yesterday that i realized how loving this all was.


    Comment by kateritek — April 1, 2014 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

    • I think I really would have enjoyed your father.

      I remember John Carson starting a run on toilet paper after he made a joke on the Late Night show saying that stores were running out.

      Sometimes we really don’t know what to believe, do we? It certainly would be as big a mistake to believe everything scientists come up with as to accept some of the religious doctrines on offer.


      Comment by Terry Sissons — April 2, 2014 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  2. I saw that spaghetti spoof on American TV when I was a kid. It may have been Alistair Cooke’s Omnibus show on Sunday afternoon. It made a big, indelible impression on me. I probably had never seen that kind of sophisticated humor before.

    I missed the Oreo thing. I think I’m glad I did.


    Comment by Thomas J. Hubschman — April 1, 2014 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

    • I know what you mean about subtle British humour. I enjoy it no end. Except that just as one is supposed to deliver it with an absolutely straight face, the recipient is also never supposed to laugh either. As an American, I fail utterly, and simply can’t help laughing, even on the rare occasions when I think of a suitable riposte fast enough to deliver it.

      Unfortunately, that subtly is in a bit of trouble. At first I thought it was political correctness arriving from across the pond, but I think actually political correctness arises when a society is culturally heterogeneious, so that comments that are perfectly acceptable in one culture are insulting in another. Britain is far more culturally diverse now that it was half a century ago.

      On the other hand, some of the exchanges during the weekly parliamentary question time are still pretty “English.” Though not always that subtle, come to think of it.


      Comment by Terry Sissons — April 3, 2014 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

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