Breaking news, politics, trends, celebrities and sports

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.

Happy Mardi Gras, or Baby’s Got Fat… Tuesday

We here at Blogosaurus Stampede would like to wish a very happy and joyous Mardi Gras to all of you out there in Interweb Land, and especially to any readers who live, or happen to be, in New Orleans right now. Or as the natives call it, “Naw’lins.” (If you’re a tourist, you might want to avoid saying this out loud. that shirt you’re wearing has already pegged you as an out-of-towner. No sense belaboring the point).

Yes, today is Fat Tuesday, which is the English translation of Mardi Gras, which is French. It marks, for Catholics, the transition from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday, a time in which Catholics can “go wild.” The English also call it Shrove Tuesday, which comes from the word “shrive” or “to confess sins and to ask and be given, absolution.” So France is celebrates the ingredient that gives food its rich and satisfying flavors, and the English are celebrating guilt. Score another one for the French.

The exact Tuesday of Mardi Gras can vary between early February and early March. It depends on when Easter is happening that year. See? Even Mardi Gras does what it wants on Mardi Gras. We love you Jesus, but let the resurrection wait while we dance and frolic a little, Ok?

It is the time in which you’re supposed to get your funky groove on and par-tay, as the young kids are calling it these days. It’s a day for costumes and masks, for drinking and drinking more. If one is an attractive woman, it is a day for liberating their breasts from the cruel oppression of shirts and bras. At least to judge by all the shouts of “Show us your tits!” one can hear in New Orleans, it is. However, you do get cheap beads for your efforts ladies, so that’s fair, right? Between breast-flashing there are also parades, dancing, and men showing what they’ve got as well.

I remember driving down to New Orleans with some friends one year. I know I was there because I can’t remember any of it in anything approaching linear order. I remember a straight-through drive down there, and I remember a lot of food, drink, breasts, alleyways used for a number of purposes, breasts, fine marijuana, some forgiving police officers (one of whom had breasts, but she didn’t show them and I wasn’t going to ask) and a long ride back home with many stops for sleeping. I also remember swearing off whiskey forever. Sazerac, you are a sweet and misleading drink. You told me I could do something in that alley that I’d never regret. You were right, but still.

On the more pleasant side of things, I remember the fried chicken and baked ham, the potato salad and the Packzi, the jambalaya and most of all, the King Cake, which, if I understand it correctly, comes with a little plastic baby Jesus inside its sugar-frosted, brioche-y goodness. That’s not just a chipped tooth, that’s a chipped truth for The Lord. Be sure to tell your dentist that. there are always pancakes for the less adventurous.

In conclusion, while I don’t advocate for drunkenness and semi-public sex, they did work for me quite well, with absolutely no regrets that I can coherently remember. Though, if you are in, or are heading down to, New Orleans for Mardi Gras, bring a camera along. It just might come in handy when you or your lawyer want to reconstruct events later on.

Older Posts »