Sunday, April 01, 2012

April 1

Where fools rush in
“Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again.” —George W. Bush
I have no use for April Fool jokes. They are, as a rule, nasty little things. Most of them are—mercifully—painfully obvious and stupid. They do rather little harm. There is, however, a particular type of April Fool joke that I find especially noisome. Jokes of this type are crafted, perhaps unthinkingly, to sound completely true, without even a hint to give the hearer a sporting chance of penetrating the ruse. These are just callous excuses to slap an unwarranted label of fool on someone. There is scarcely a better way to get me to put you on my list of persona non grata.

Examples include such choice items as
  • “Jenny won't be in class today. She's in the ICU after a car accident.”
  • “Grandpa fell down and broke his hip!”
  • “I just heard on the news that there's a fire in your apartment complex!”
  • “My doctor told me yesterday that I have melanoma.”
  • “Did you check your in-box? There's a memo from district office about layoffs in our department!”
Now how would you feel after expressing alarm or concern, only to have someone grin like an idiot and then yell “April Fool!” at you? Yes, I want to slug people like that (but I don't—usually). I actually experienced two of the above “jokes” and my response to “April Fool!” was an understated “Jerk.” In both cases I froze out the inane prankster for an extended period of time. One was a cousin. It was a small loss.

A form of humor based entirely on telling lies and then insulting the people who believe them. What's not to love?


Ray said...


One of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog - to see words one simply does not encounter on a day-to-day basis. Used properly, to boot!

Zeno said...

Thanks, Ray. I always try to boot words properly. ;-)

Karen said...

Zeno, you're alive! I was beginning to wonder.

April Fool's jokes generally offend me. The spate of Freethought Blogs writers making up ridiculous stories about their fellow bloggers abandoning the site yesterday was especially annoying. (Perhaps that was because I have an abscessed tooth that's making me really grumpy and won't be fixed until Tuesday (thank the FSM for ibuprofen)... but I think it's my normal reaction.

The Christians say April Fool's Day is a "holiday" for atheists. (Insert swearwords here.)

Karen said...

Zeno, are you spending Easter with your family?

Kathie said...

I DO have rather a fondness for some of NPR's faux news stories each April 1. All time fave was a report on portable Zip codes.

Zeno said...

Yes, I will venture down into reddest California for Easter Sunday -- for at least part of the day.

I have been frantically busy with school and taxes and books and finally caught my breath during spring break.