According to Wiki, the origins of April Fools’ Day stem from celebrations which include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held on March 25th, and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December on 28th; still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day”, the first British reference.
On April 1st, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”. In the Middle Ages, up until the late 18th century, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25th (Feast of the Annunciation) in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on April 1st. Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1st made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.
Anyway, April Fools is always a day that I quite enjoy…even when I caught myself standing on one leg, with my finger on my nose, sniffing deeply. CBBC – I am sure it was CBBC – had tried to persuade viewers that they had managed to crack ‘smellovision’…and, until I cottoned on as to what the date was, they had me fooled! I was only about eight years old though, so can be forgiven for falling for this stupidly obvious prank. I can’t be forgiven though for falling for todays prank by Dr Ranj who tweeted that he had accepted a spot on BBC Strictly Come Dancing…I even rang my sister so that she could let my niece know…what a plonker?! I never really bothered playing any pranks at work, nor did I fall for many, but my Dad was the King of Practical Jokers and always had something up his sleeve for his colleagues.
I remember him telling me one year about a prank that he pulled when he worked as a Test Driver. He used to drive cars, all sorts of cars, until they broke – so he could report on any knocks and rattles and squeaks, or poor performance etc. At one point he was working for Land Rover and used to drive what was known as the ‘Peak’ route; basically driving around the Peak District in Derbyshire pulling loaded trailers, with the vehicles fully loaded with weighted dummies, so they could assess the performance over challenging terrain. Anyway, one area they drove through, the Goyt Valley, was classed as a little ‘spooky’ with even the Police telling them that they didn’t venture out there at night – this was back in the 80s though. It was an area known for Pagan sacrifices, if the rumours are true – for example a dead body was found with only a single footprint next to it in the snow, and people through that it was the work of witches!
Always winding each other up and playing practical jokes, one night my Dad decided to play one of his own. The drivers used to pretty much drive in a convoy to keep an eye on each other, and would keep in touch via CB radio. Having told his other colleagues what he was going do to this one chap, Dad was able to drive ahead whilst they slowed down the convoy a little. He managed to hide his Land Rover out of sight, and stood in a churchyard on a bend, wearing a white cape which covered his head and face. Due to his position, any oncoming traffic would light up the churchyard as they drove past due to the sweep of their headlights. So you can imagine the horror of his colleague, whom they had all wound up by regaling stories of the local folklore, when he catches sight of a hooded figure in a churchyard. Apparently this poor chap didn’t stop until he got back to Solihull and was safely surrounded by security fencing!
Dad also led my poor late Nan on a merry chase too. He was always playing little jokes when he lived with them, and has a knack for accents, so decided to call my Nan one day and tell her she’d hit the jackpot with the premium bonds. Unfortunately, as soon as he put the phone down, she called my Grandad to tell him that a premium bonds executive was coming later that afternoon to discuss whether or not they should go public with the win, and that although he hadn’t wanted to confirm the amount over the phone, it was big! So of course Grandad left work, whilst Dad was trying to call and let him in on the joke…but this was before the days of mobile phones. Nan had a mad cleaning session at the house, and even went out and bought a new dress, before Dad could tell them it was him! What a bloody nightmare – I think I would have been violent if he’d have done that to me!
He has also played a couple of prank calls on me at work, until one day I told someone they were a pervert for asking for ‘nipple grease’…not realising that this was a product used to grease certain parts on machines in the engineering industry. The same happened when I was asked for either a ‘flonky or a minky’ and burst out laughing thinking it was my Dad being stupid again…to be told that they were cleaning items, like mops! Shortly after this I asked him not to play any more tricks for fear of losing the first job I had.
As a lover of a good prank, some of the reported media pranks have been classic. One of the great media hoaxes of all time was perpetrated on April Fools’ Day in 1957 by the BBC, which reported on Panorama that Switzerland was experiencing a bumper spaghetti harvest that year thanks to favourable weather and the elimination of the dreaded “spaghetti weevil.” Staged video footage showing happy peasants plucking strands of pasta from tall trees was so convincing that many viewers actually called the network to ask how they could grow their own.
Burger King announced the rollout of its “Left-Handed Whopper” on April Fools’ Day 1998, supposedly designed so that ketchup and mayo would drip from the right side of the burger rather than the left.
And an Internet hoax back in 1996, which announced that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless “flotsam and jetsam” are flushed from the system, made me chuckle!
My personal favourite was carried out by YouTube back in 2008, and was linked to 80’s legend Rick Astley. Anyone who clicked on a featured video link on YouTube was directed to the video of Rick singing ‘Never gonna give you up’…one of my favourite songs as a wee dot in the 80’s! Altogether now – ‘Never gonna give you up, Never gonna let you down, Never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, Never gonna say goodbye, Never gonna tell a lie and hurt yoooou!’ Here’s another random fact for you, I went to school with the son of ‘Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s’ Pete Waterman!
Right then, after that Tom Foolery, it’s time for today’s usuals…
It was an early alarm call this morning, but luckily it was for the other half who was off for a day trip to London with my Sister and BIL. So I crawled back into bed and didn’t wake up until 11.45pm! As soon as I saw the time, I jumped out of bed but then realised that I didn’t have all that much to do, so just relaxed and prepared breakfast at a very leisurely pace. I then decided to paint my nails, which is always fun as I’m not the most skilful when it comes to girly stuff…it tends to look like a builder has applied it with a shovel, but it turned out okay! I then watched a couple of lectures, caught up with Facebook and Twitter, watched last nights episode of ‘Person of Interest’…I am in love with Jim Caviezel…and then made a late lunch. The dog and I then got warm under the fleecy blanket and wondered what on earth the ice cream van man was doing trying to tout for business on such a bloody cold day; I think he should diversify and start offering hot chocolate! It was then more mooching, watching Neighbours and then Home and Away, and then other half was home…it went pretty quickly! Looking forward to Broadchurch later on, and then my favourite ‘Revenge’.
Breakfast: Apple and blueberry porridge (6.5 syns) with two scan bran (2 syns) crushed in with Alpro Almond milk (2 syns), and a banana.
Lunch: Four slices wholemeal bread from a small loaf (HEB + 5 syns), topped with scrambled eggs, bacon bits, mushrooms, onion, pepper and tomatoes.
Dinner: Jacket potato with baked beans, cheese (HEA) and homemade coleslaw (5 syns).
Snacks: Packet of Snack a Jacks (4.5 syns)
25 syns again then today, albeit mostly healthy syns…I am not looking forward to stepping on the scales tomorrow, but hope that someone up there is looking out for me! I will see what happens tomorrow and perhaps give it another week on the higher syns before making a decision. It hasn’t made me feel bloated, or greatly fuller, but it must be having an effect! We will see what happens tomorrow. No great culinary delights today; just fairly straight forward stuff that I could prepare and cook myself with relative ease!
After crawling back into bed after the other half left early for his day trip, I didn’t stir until 11.45am, which is unheard of for me; it was a very lazy day! I was more active around the house but didn’t do any ‘timed’ exercise…so I don’t really count that even though I know it all helps.
Happy April Fools’ Day…I hope none of you were Punk’d,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx
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