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April Fools Day or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gregorian Calendar

Filed under: Anniversaries,Holidays,Life & How to Live It,Satire,Useful Information — Tags: , , — Positronic Dave @ 1:24 pm March 31, 2011

For those amongst us who are children, and for those that are just otherwise malicious, April Fools Day is tomorrow. As I’m sure you are aware, busy as you must be, unscrewing sugar and salt shaker tops, plugging up toilets and preparing to phone in false reports to the local police. April Fools Day is the holiday when cruel, emotionally-taxing hoaxes are the gifts that keep on giving.

As a side-note, apropos of nothing more than it is; my wife and I were married on April 1st. Many of our friends weren’t sure if they were actually going to a wedding that day. We asked everybody to dress in black, and the neighbors thought there was a wake at our house, so they were extra quiet. Tomorrow will be my wife and I’s 5th anniversary. I’m going to have someone phone her from the RI Hospital Emergency Ward, telling her I didn’t make it. It should be a “laff riot” as they say in the “gag” world.

The birth story of April Fools Day goes back to the early 158os, when King Charles IX of France decided to revise the calendar, in order to make room in it for pictures of cute kittens hanging from trees and exhortations to stand strong until “Friday.” This caused quite a stir back then, as it moved the New Year’s celebration back 3 months By God, some people just weren’t having it, and continued to celebrate as they always had. This gained them the mockery and derision of everybody else, who played tricks on them. They became known as “poisson d’avril” or “April fish” and people would hang paper fish on their backs when they weren’t looking. ¬†And then turn them in for being witches, or educated, or both.

As you can imagine, the joyous celebration that was April Fools’ Day spread throughout Europe like a second, funnier plague. If you can’t imagine this, close your eyes, lean your head back, and open your mouth… trust me…

In Scotland, it became known as “Taily Day” and features buttock-specific humor. The old classic “kick me” sign taped to someone’s back owes its origin to the Scots. You have to love the Scots.

One modern April Fools Day favorite, and very popular amongst those working in the plumbing profession, is the old “mix jello into the toilet” trick. It takes a couple of boxes, but when it gels, there is nothing funnier to a man being paid $40/hr for house visits.

So remember, nothing says “I Love You, Special Person” on this merriest of predacious holidays than a faked call from the Police Station “because of what they found in the trunk when they pulled you over.” After all, you’re not doing this April Fools’ Day prank for yourself… you’re doing it for them. Because you’re a people person. You care.

9/11… or “Where Were You, When the Towers Fell?”

Filed under: Anniversaries,History,Life & How to Live It — Tags: , , , , , — Positronic Dave @ 2:51 pm September 11, 2010

Just like any anniversary of Death, 9/11 tends to sneak up on many of us each year. Ironic, since it’s as much an omnipresence in our culture, as it is a slam-dunk for any politician’s speech who really wants to show he, or she, cares. And for so many of us who lost people they knew and loved that day, it is a difficult day to endure. Even nine years later the wounds still live close to fresh..

I’m not going to post any September 11th pictures. There will be no 9/11 speeches covered here. I’m not even going to go after people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin; those who delight in holding up the corpse of 9/11 to show everybody how much more they care about America than Liberals or Muslims. Today, I will leave the ghouls to their human misery feast and just walk away. They are not worth the attention.

So many 9/11 quotes are self-serving and do not even come from the victims, or the heroes. They do not come from the civilians or the police, or the firefighters, or anyone directly involved. They come from people like Geroge W. Bush or Dick Cheney. they come from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. They come from Anne Coulter who once accused 9/11 Widows of “reveling in their celebrity status.” They come from those who do not know and yet revel in their ignorance.

Most of the people I know who were involved and/or lost people to the 9/11 tragedy, don’t want to talk about it. Or, if they do, it is with friends, loved ones, counselors, and doctors; it is with priests and rabbis and imams that they want to talk about how they felt, how they still feel. They don’t want to do it for agendas or cameras. They do because they need to… they have to.

I don’t want to talk about the twin towers and how they fell; leave aside your conspiracy theories and secret films. This isn’t the day for them. If you see the World Trade Center in some pre-2001 movies, just let it pass by. It is a ghost and you don’t need to engage it.

And, for God’s sake, in all His/Her/Its many names