“PRACTICAL JOKES & PRANKS-April Fools’ Day:I want to laugh & have fun!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 41 , April 3rd, 2011
TITLE: “PRACTICAL JOKES & PRANKS – April Fools’ Day: I want to laugh & have fun!*”


April 1st is a day when people joke around and play pranks; and some work unbelievably well. My book of the week is: “Fooled You!” Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years” by Elaine Pascoe  (writer) and Laurie Keller (illustrator). On the occasion of this date, my topic  is jokes and pranks .


My Dad had a great sense of humor. (I like to think that I do as well.) Many years ago, a  few young girls, friends of my daughter, worked at a bakery part-time after school. One day, they were talking about an older gentleman who came daily to the bakery to buy bread. They looked forward to this customer because he always joked with them. The man in question turned out to be my Dad.  I guess it runs in the family.

I have never played a prank on someone; but I have friends who have tried to fool me on April 1st. As a result,I’ve been on my guard. 

One of my favourites is the prank played by one of my cousins, who is a big joker. He went to a lot of trouble to find fake hair and braid it.  You see there was a lady who worked in his office and always braided her hair. One day, while carrying on a conversation, he picked up a pair of scissors and pretended that he was cutting her braid. Of course, he had the fake ready to show her.  She was stunned, thinking the braid was hers. Once told that it was all a joke, she laughed hysterically.  Everyone in the office talked about the prank for weeks afterwards.
Here are a few seriously good joke stories that I discovered while researching this post article.

S & R* BONUS FACT * #1: Well-known pranks

Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to “reduce the country’s debt” and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell”. When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.[11]”

Left-handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side.[12] Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the “old”, right-handed burger.[13]”

Apple buys the Beatles: In 2010, Bob Lefsetz released an April Fools’ Day letter which had rumours circulating around the music industry.[14]”

Iceberg from Antarctica:  In 1983, Australian millionaire businessman Dick Smith claimed to have towed an iceberg from Antarctica to Sydney Harbour. He used a barge covered with white plastic and fire extinguisher foam to convince witnesses.[15]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools’_Day

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #1: Nobel Winner

“Among Lev Landau’s colleagues at the Physical Technical Institute was a certain mediocre but arrogant physicist whose copious output was largely plagiarized. One day he received a telegram informing him that he had been nominated for a Nobel prize and should prepare a detailed resume outlining all of his work and submit two copies to the head of the Department of Theoretical Physics (Landau) by a certain date.

With his ego swelling beyond human proportions, the man became insufferable, assuming pompous airs and failing even to greet old friends. When he had completed the monumental task of producing his CV, he arrived in Landau’s office, set the documents on his desk – and was met with a sneer and a surprising question: “Did you really believe that a Nobel Prize would be given for this garbage?” Only then was the man’s attention drawn to the date of the deadline: April 1st.”

[Landau himself later won the Nobel (in 1962) for his work in low-temperature physics.]
Landau, Lev Davidovich (1908-1968) Russian physicist, Nobel Prize recipient (Physics, 1962) [noted for his pioneering work in low-temperature physics and the quantum mechanical study of condensed states] (Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=14036

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #2: Enrique Iglesias (practical joke #276)

“While touring, Enrique Iglesias and his entourage regularly played practical jokes on one another. “We played a trick on one of the guys from our record company,” he once recalled. “We left him naked in the hallway outside our hotel room, then called security and told them there was a crazy man outside our door!” (Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=7186

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #3: Howard Stern Radio Show – Howard Stern Radio Show

“On April 1st, 1998, Howard Stern and CBS announced that fans would soon be able to watch “The Howard Stern Radio Show” every Saturday night. “Standards have gone to an all-time low,” Stern declared, “and I’m here to represent them!””
Stern, Howard (1958-    ) American radio talk show host [noted for his shocking antics, and for such works as Private Parts and Miss America] [Sources: imdb.com] (Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=20033

S & R* QUOTE #1: BMW’s political car badges

“The car company ran a newspaper ad asking British drivers to “show your true colors” in the runup to the general election there with new BMW hood ornament badges in red, blue and yellow — the colors of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. “In the event of a hung Parliament, we’ll replace your badge for free,” the ad said. German humor is no laughing matter, of course, which is why BMW has an entire web page explaining all its April Fool’s jokes from years gone by.”

S & R* QUOTE #2: Groupon

“Groupon’s “Groupöupon” luxury site.Coupon site Groupon launched “Groupöupon,” which it described thus: “Groupöupon is the next level—an exclusive, invitation-only, premium marketplace designed to enhance your status. Featuring a select rotation of designer items that transcend function, Groupöupon is the retail portal you never knew you couldn’t live without.” Items on offer included a “sleek” faceless watch and “premium sleeves,” sans jacket.”

S & R* QUOTE #3: “Google (GOOG) has a reputation for playing April Fool’s pranks.

“(This year’s renaming the site Topeka as a twist on Topeka, Kansas calling itself Google is pretty amusing.) And it had an impressive retro one on YouTube, recasting some videos into a “text” mode, similar to how programmers once used ASCII text to simulate images in the days before laser and ink-jet printers. However, this cute twist backfired as users complained heavily about the new video page interface that YouTube had separately introduced.”(Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-business/youtube-april-fool-8217s-joke-is-on-google/3187?tag=mantle_skin;content

S & R* QUOTE #4: National Republican Senatorial Committee’s “Low Emission Unicorns

”You can’t let your anger get in the way of your humor, as the GOP does here, but there’s still a couple of good one-liners in this video of Obama’s achievements, including the one about solving global warming by replacing cars with “low emission unicorns.” There was a better joke in here that the Republicans failed to spot, and it starts with the out-of-context clip of Hillary Clinton telling an audience, “the sky will open, the light will come down!” An “ad” created entirely out of Democrats’ actual speeches would have been much funnier.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.bnet.com/blog/advertising-business/the

THE AUTHORS: Elaine Pascoe (writer) and Laurie Keller (illustrator)
Elaine Pascoe has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and editor. She has written 20+ nonfiction books for young readers. She lives in Connecticut.

Laurie Keller is an American children’s book author and illustrator. She has written four books for Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers, and produced illustrations for two others.

Growing up in Muskegon, Michigan and after graduating high school, she took classes and enrolled at  Kendall College of Art and Design, a local community college, receiving a degree in illustration. She worked at Hallmark Cards as a greeting card artist. While there, she was allowed to design entire cards, which caused her to consider writing and illustrating books.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)  –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Keller  (Sourcc: http://us.macmillan.com/fooledyou)

Books by Laurie Keller
Some are:

  • “The Scrambled States of America” (subject: geography)
  • “Open Wide: Tooth School Inside” (subject: tooth care) – Henry Holt and Co. – 2000
  • “Arnie the Doughnut” (subject: anthropomorphic doughnut) – Henry Holt and Co. – 2003
  • “Grandpa Gazillion’s Number Yard” (subject: numbers) – Henry Holt and Co. – 2005
  • “Do Unto Otters” (subject: manners)
  • “The Scrambled States of America Talent Show” (subject: follow-up to 1998 book) Henry Holt and Co. – 1998
  • “Fooled You!: Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years” (Elaine Pascoe) – Henry Holt and Co. – 2005

Books by Elaine Pascoe
Some are:

  • “Fooled You!: Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years” (Elaine Pascoe) – Henry Holt and Co. – 2005
  • “Nature Close-Up – Slime, Mold and Fungi” [Board book]
  • “Nature Close-Up – Pill Bugs & Sow Bugs and Other Custaceans” [Hardcover]
  • “Birds Use Their Beaks (How & Why)” [Library Binding]
    (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)  –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Keller (Sourcc: http://us.macmillan.com/fooledyou)
    (Source: Amazon) -http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Use-Their-Beaks-How/dp/0836830083/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

THE BOOK: “Fooled You!” Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years”by Elaine Pascoe  (writer) & Laurie Keller (illustrator)

In the last three centuries, there have been many great hoaxes carried out. Some were: (a)  Crop circles; (b) Aliens on earth. (c) Fairies caught on film; (d) Giant cats. Pascoe chose 10+ to examine in depth, noting things in common. She inquiried into the doers: “How they did it?”  and the victims: “Why they bought it?” Fool you ….It’s a fun book …Fool it! 
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)  –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Keller  (Sourcc: http://us.macmillan.com/fooledyou)


To have a sense of humor is a wonderful quality. Having fun is a valid  aim. Being merry contributes to a positive attitude. Smiles wear very well. A round of laughter is a mood changer. Enjoying a joke is uplifting. This is all good … up to a point.

My personal comments

I am not really a practical joke person. However, this does not mean to say that I don’t have a sense of humor. In contrast, I like to smile and laugh just like the next gal and guy. I believe in good clean fun, of VERY short duration. I insst that noone gets hurt; and we always laugh WITH the person, being the butt of the joke.

I have also noted that some go too far, taking drastic measures in order to play a practical joke.  It  could be quite disagreeable or even damaging. Pranks that cause bodily harm may also result in lawsuits, criminal charges and getting fired.  

The point

Joking and pranking should be light- hearted fun. If it is not, then don’t do it!

Everyone should:
1. Make sure it’s not to the extreme, especially if it’s at someone else’s expense;
2. Have fun with jokes and pranks, but don’t make anyone feel bad;
3. Ensure that it’s a light and mild prank , particularly in the workplace;
4. Call the person, quickly after the fact, on whom you played a joke, to tell him/her that it was only a prank;
5. Be on guard on April’s Fools;

I am funning, smiling and laughing so much that I am confused. I think that I should say: Ho… Ho …no that ‘s not it. Hi…Hi….no that’s not it….Ha …Ha …Yes that’s it!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Schedule I
For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “April Fools’ Day”, “practical jokes”; etc.

April Fools’ Day
“April Fools’ Day is celebrated in the Western world on the 1st of April of every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is not a legal holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day which tolerates practical jokes and general foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good humoured or funny jokes, hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools’_Day

Practical joke
“A practical joke (also known as a prank or gag) is a mischievous trick played on a person, especially one that causes the victim to experience embarrassment, indignity, or discomfort. Practical jokes differ from confidence tricks in that the victim finds out, or is let in on, the joke rather than being fooled into handing over money or other valuables. Practical jokes or pranks are typically lighthearted, reversible or non-permanent, and made to make people feel foolish or victimized to a certain degree, although in some practical jokes there could be an inherent strain of cruelty present.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Practical_joke

Bonus Fact: April Fools’ Day – Origins

“In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.[1] Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon.[2] Thus the passage originally meant 32 days after March, i.e. May 2,[3] the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. However, readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean “32nd of March,” i.e. 1st April.[4] In Chaucer’s tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1509, a French poet referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “April fish”), a possible reference to the holiday.[3] In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on the 1st of April.[3] In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day”, the first British reference.[3] On 1st April, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”.[3] The name “April Fools” echoes that of the Feast of Fools, a Medieval holiday held on the 28th December.[5]

In the Middle Ages, New Year’s Day was celebrated on the 25th of March in most European towns.[6] In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on the 1st of April.[5] So it is possible that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on the 1st of January made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.[7] The use of the 1st of January as New Year’s Day was common in France by the mid-sixteenth century,[3] and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.

In the eighteenth century, the festival was often posited as going back to the time of Noah. According to an English newspaper article published in 1789, the day had its origin when Noah sent his dove off too early, before the waters had receded; he did this on the first day of the Hebrew month that corresponds with April.[8]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools’_Day

Schedule II

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #4:Talking to Morons
“One day at the turn of the millennium, “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” cohost Rick Mercer visited Des Moines, Iowa. As a gag for the popular Canadian show, Mercer interviewed several locals, telling each that, like France, Canada was operating on a 20-hour clock (or, alternatively, a 65-minute hour) and was considering a change to American time. Among those who fell for the ruse? Iowa governor Tom Vilsack: “I’m Tom Vilsack, governor of Iowa,” he announced. “Congratulations, Canada, on getting your first 24-hour clock!”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=4395

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #5: “Marvin Gaye Murder: April Fools

“In 1984, soul legend Marvin Gaye, broke and struggling with drug addiction, moved back into his parents’ Los Angeles home. On April 1st, he attacked his father for verbally abusing his mother. The older man (a preacher who had often beaten his children for minor infractions) responded by shooting and instantly killing his son. Sadly, the reverend would never have had a gun – if Marvin had not given it to him as a gift a few months earlier.

[Gay was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to five years’ probation. Doctors examining him after his arrest discovered a possible explanation for his behavior: a cancerous tumor at the base of his brain. When asked whether he loved his son, the reverend replied, “Let’s say that I didn’t dislike him.”]”
Gaye, Marvin Pentz (1939-1984) American musician [noted for various recordings]
[Sources: Blender, Aug/Sept 2001](Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=17953

Schedule III

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1 On the Road to 2010, U. S. Census Bureau Final Report, Faith-Based Outreach Focus Groups
Summary of Comments
Consider changing Census Day to a day other than April 1st. Associating the Census with April Fools Day sends a mixed-message tocommunity members, causing suspicion and creating the unintended perception that participating in the census may be some kind oftrick or joke. Consider involving the census partners in choosing or even creating an alternativeday to kickoff the 2010 Census – an occasion of universally positive nationaland/or cultural significance, i.e., Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Fourth of July, etc. Greater emphasis should be placed on involving children in 2010 Census events, activities,giveaways, etc. Host or sponsor community events and ethnic festivals which involve theentire family. Children are most often the best, most direct way to reach and educate parents, grandparents, and other caregivers to the value and importance of participating inthe census.

Clowns, current popular music, interactivegames, raffles, and giveaways, provide the safest, surest way to gain access to childrenand, through them, their parents. In Dallas, for example, hip hop artist “Little Bow Wow”was a big hit with the youth! In other locations, hip hop songs, sports stars, “American Idol” type entertainment figures, and other culturally significant images can work well in capturing the hearts and minds of the community. Through this means, interest and participation in the 2010 Census and beyond is generated.”
Source U.S. Census Bureau) – http://www.census.gov/cac/race_ethnic_advisory_committees/docs/2007_Oct_Faith based_FG_Report.pdf

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