Monday, April 1, 2019

April Fool’s Day

Nobody really knows how this day got started but according to the History Channel, “Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.”

This day is one of my least favorite “holidays” that many people recognize. First of all, I don’t like surprises and I don’t like being the butt of any joke. I’m kind of on edge all day waiting for someone to play a joke on me.

The worst joke ever played on me was when I was teaching in a portable unit (think of an old trailer) at a high school. One of my self-contained students was pregnant and I was still upset that she didn’t get any prenatal care. When she hadn’t shown up for my class on time, one of the other students’s let me know that she was in the bathroom and possibly in labor. I ran to the bathroom to get her and took her to the nurse’s office.

We proceeded to try to find her mother who worked at a nearby manufacturing plant. If her mom didn’t turn up soon, we were going to send for an ambulance, and I had even contacted a friend in law enforcement to go to the plant to find my student’s mother. Meanwhile, I had to find someone to cover my class because you shouldn’t ever leave students alone in a classroom.

By this time, the bell rang for the end of class and I saw my student’s sister in the hallway. The sister asked me if I enjoyed my “April Fool’s Joke?” When I asked her to explain, she told me that her sister was going to fake being in labor and that my whole class was in on it! Boy, was I mad!! I had to call off the cavalry and calm everyone down.

The next day I was furious with my class! They said by the time I had called so many people, they were too afraid to tell me that it was just a joke. We had a huge lesson on what constitutes a “funny” joke and what does not. I don’t think they will ever do that again.

What is your favorite April Fools’ joke? What is your worst? Please share.

Photo by Katrina Berban on Unsplash

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