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April Foolish

I'm a nerd and a snob rolled into one unfortunate clump, so it should come as no surprise that I have strong feelings about something so trivial as April Fools Day.

I think it's the result of one too many lame April Fools gags...I can remember in high school one year that I was getting ready to drive off in the car on an errand for my parents, and it wouldn't start. After asking for help, my step-dad came outside with the ignition fuse in his hand, and happily declared, "April Fools!" It was a great practical joke. But was I fooled? They set up a situation over which I had no control, and my only conclusion was that the car wouldn't start. It's not like I was lead to believe it wouldn't start when it was really okay. The car actually couldn't start because it had been tampered with.

There was also a prank in college where several girls from Intervarsity Christian Fellowship decided to raid the medicine cabinets of a number of guys' apartments, purloining our toothbrushes. They left notes behind, or something similar, to indicate that it was some big April Fools gag. Harmless, clever, and fun, but I still don't think anybody was fooled here. Maybe a bunch of guys felt as if they'd lost their toothbrushes, but they weren't really fooled in the sense that they believed a lie told to them.

When did April Fools day become a day for general pranks? Or has it always been that way? Maybe I need to get some history on this...I think I just miss people actually trying to trick one another in good-natured ways. Only when you convince somebody that some absurd story is true should you be able to declare, triumphantly, "April Fools!"

So I don't mean to spoil anybody's fun - by all means, joke away. Try to fool me. Play tricks on me. I try to trick people as well. Just don't do something to me that's a practical joke and try to claim that you fooled me. That's just bad form.