There are two types of people in the world: those who like April Fools’ Day and those who do not. The folks who enjoy April 1 usually do so because they are the ones pulling the jokes and getting the last laugh in. Understandably so, for those who are at the other end of the jokes, April 1 is a day of paranoia and constantly checking over your shoulder to make sure nobody is conspiring against you. But beyond the suspicion of the day, there are admittedly hilarious pranks that serve as classic examples of why April Fools’ Day continues to be the tradition it is.
Although the history of April Fools’ Day is rather unclear, many people date it back to 16th century France when the French New Year was celebrated from March 25 to April 1. When Charles IX adopted a new calendar issued by the Pope, the New Year celebration moved to Jan. 1, but not everyone enjoyed the alteration; many kept on celebrating on April 1 and were subsequently pegged as fools by their peers who also pranked them to exemplify their stupidity.
What were some of the old pranks that they pulled? Well, we have 16th century Europe to thank for the “kick me” sign.
Today’s pranks, though, are more intricate and clever than a simple sign. With technology improving constantly, our shenanigans not only grow larger, but also become Internet sensations overnight.
A recent prank that created a lot of web buzz was pulled during College Humor’s latest prank war: the fake marriage proposal. It is a fairly simple prank, although it may be a bit pricy and rather destructive to a relationship—but, hey, it’s April Fools’ Day, right?
The next time your friend takes his girlfriend on a date to a sporting event, buy one of those scoreboard messages that appear during intermission and propose to his girlfriend as him. The hilarity of it all: watching your friend explain that he actually is not proposing. Of course, this joke works best if your friend has been dating the girl for at least a few years; then the possibility of them getting married is much higher and the girl is undoubtedly thinking about it. Classic.
But for those who wish not to end a relationship of a few years—a noble wish, I might add —have no fear. There are pranks that can be performed in which no girl’s dream of marriage is deliberately crushed.
Since we live in fairly close quarters at college, this is very easy. Simply waiting in a friend’s room until he or she returns and giving that person a scare will always work. Although, next to a fake marriage proposal, that admittedly seems lame.
“It is hard to pull a really good prank in our dorms because we don’t want to get in trouble with Drake’s rules. You have to be creative,” first-year Hayley Keil said.
This April 1 was a bit different for freshman (April Fools’! We’re first-years, not freshman, because that’s more politically correct). Sure, there may be more opportunities to pull a prank on someone, but there are even more rules that get in the way of the fun, fire hazards being the largest obstacle to overcome on the road to a successful trick.
So, if you’re still plotting to “get” one of your friends, just remember two things: There are university rules (like always) and there is also a little thing called karma.
This year you may have been the person that spent April 1 keeled over in laughter, but next year may be different. And let me tell you, spending a whole day in paranoia gets exhausting. Happy Fools’ Day and I hope everyone enjoyed the pranking.
Jokes on you
Who called who?
If you have an office phone that allows conference calling, you can prank two people at once. Call the first victim’s extension, then very quickly dial the second victim, and push the conference button. Now both people will think the other person called them and will begin arguing over who called him.
Remove the victim’s desk drawers and rearrange them.