Do You Feel Foolish?

I decided the way to avoid feeling foolish on April Fool's Day was to be empowered by knowledge - no joke. Okay, I didn't spend hours researching the subject in the library; but I did google it.

Supposedly this day of duping family and friends started in France in 1564 - which explains why their fries make jokes of our waistlines.

Anyway, France was the first nation to adopt the reformed calendar, but some citizens resisted. They wanted New Year's Day to remain on April 1st and on every April 1st they were victimized by pranksters and referred to as "poisson d'Avril" - April fish. Why fish? Maybe this is a google fish story.

Nevertheless, by the 18th century the custom of playing pranks on April 1st had spread to England and then to Scotland, where an April fool is known as an April "gowk" - cuckoo. No, that's a translation - not a comment on my research.

My mother was an enthusiastic "hunter of the gowk" -player of April fools. She put liver in the bottom of our beds for our bare feet to discover and hid our clothes. Then there were her cotton-filled muffins and her penny-stuffed burgers, which were worth every cent.

I tried to carry on the family tradition of putting pennies into burger patties; but I didn't want to risk my family turning into male chauvinist, piggy banks. I wrapped the pennies in foil and was the first to discover biting foil isn't funny. Announcing French toast for breakfast and serving cold toast on top of a French dictionary was much more successful.

This year the reformed calendar is making me gowk. The day of foolery falls on Sunday. This eliminates all job and school-related pranks.

The first day of the month is allowance day; but if I postpone it, I'll be the poisson d'Avril because both sons owe me money.

Maybe I'll let my family fool itself. When my husband and the boys help with Sunday dinner preparations, they could be helping with Monday's dinner. At the last minute I could April Fool them with dinner out.

Hey, there's no rule that pranks can't be pleasant. Wouldn't you be pleased if a crow flew by, squawked April Fool and reclaimed its feet from the corner of your eyes? Or even better - how about finally getting to the end of your tax form and finding the words April Fool.

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