by Ginger Solomon
Writers spend a lot of time doing research about one thing or another. I thought when I first started writing contemporary romance (I also write historical) that I wouldn’t have to do as much research. I was oh-so wrong.
We have to get all of the facts right – like the history of a building or city. If the police or fire department are involved (and who doesn’t love a hunky hero?), we have to research proper procedures. Did someone get injured and have to go to the hospital? Hospital procedures. A trip overseas? Passport issues.
You get the idea.
So…since my post day landed on April 1, I decided to research April Fools’ Day for you.
There is a lot of speculation about the true origin of this “holiday.” Some think Chaucer wrote about it in The Canterbury Tales, which was written in the late 14th century. Others believe it came about in 1582 when the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in France. At that time, New Year’s Day was moved from the end of March to January first. No one really knows for sure.
In France, it is called poisson d’Avril (April fish). They attempt to attach a paper fish to a person’s back without being noticed.
In Scotland, it is Hunt-the-Gowk Day. A gowk is a cuckoo or a foolish person. Their typical prank is to send someone on a wild-goose chase for supposedly important information.
Here are some more notable April Fool’s Day pranks:
- 1957 – The BBC reported about a bumper spaghetti harvest on its news program. They expressed gratitude that the dreaded “spaghetti weevil” and great weather had allowed for the exceptional harvest. There was even video footage.
- 1976 – A British astronomer announced that Jupiter and Pluto would experience a rare alignment, which would nullify gravity at 9:47 a.m. and people would feel weightless for a brief period. When the time came, he told his listening BBC audience
to “Jump now.” Moments later the telephone lines lit up with people reporting that it had worked. It was a prank.
- 1996 – Taco Bell claimed it had purchased the Liberty Bell and was changing the name to “Taco Liberty Bell.”
- 1998 – Burger King rolled out its “Left-Handed Whopper” which was designed so the condiments dripped from the right side instead of the left. :)
I’m not much of a prankster myself, but my children get into it occasionally. Several years ago one of them, who shall remain nameless, poured white vinegar into his siblings’ water. You should have seen those faces when they took a drink of what they thought was plain water. LOL He even put it into our pet’s water, but the dog was too smart to drink it.
What are some fun pranks that you have pulled or have been pulled on you? Please keep them clean and harmless. We don’t want to give anyone any bad ideas. *SMILE*
PS. I think there might be a story brewing centered around an April Fools’ joke gone bad – hmmm. :)