April Fool's Day
What do you call a holiday that is not an official holiday? It occurs on April the 1st and is appropriately called, “All Fools Day.”
That’s right, it is not an officially recognized holiday anywhere, with the exception of Odessa in Ukraine where the first of April is an official city holiday
Yet, we all do or have celebrated April Fools Day by either playing a harmless prank on someone or being the recipient of a prank played on us. As you would expect, this practice of pulling “harmless jokes” on unsuspecting subjects is often viewed as controversial.
For instance, some will claim that these “harmless jokes” can have a positive effect as they bring about laughter and laughter is considered good for your health.
Years ago, radio perrsonality, Art Linkletter , claimed that, “Laughter is the best medicine!” And we all know that laughter can be a great stress reliever, which in today’s turmoil can be a real plus.
However, when jokes go overboard, they tend to sometimes be rude, weird, misinterpreted, and even dangerous. But if folk will consider the situation and have a compassionate spirit, they will probably find April Fools Day to be a fun and enjoyable experience. Yet sometimes the shoe fits on the other foot and one might find that you are the recipient of the prank instead of the prankster! When that happens, you need to be able to accept the laugh on yourself just as you expect others to be receptive when you are the prankster.
My Mother’s only April Fools Prank was to put a cotton ball in one or two of her homemade biscuits and she made sure that Dad got one of them. My young bride Stella went a step farther and put blue food coloring in her homemade biscuits, which resulted in making them look like they were covered with mold. Not one of us could eat them! I am sure that each of you have a favorite April Fools Memory and I hope that you get a chuckle from the memory.
Oh, before I forget, if you want a real surprise, place a call to Mr. L. E. Phant and ask him if he has Dr. Pepper in a bottle. If he says, “Yes”, tell him to let him out before he smothers!
Last week’s poem covered some pranks that were quite popular when this old timer was just a button. Buggies and Model T Fords got a lot of attention, along with school marms and outhouses. Legend has it that my own young bride’s Mother was a participant in an outhouse escapade that resulted in said outhouse getting tumped over to lie majesticaslly on its side in all its splendor and glory.
The calendar read, April the first.
An’ we all knew to beware,
‘Cuz folk would show their best an’ their worst,
While doing their best to snare,
Now, western folk in the days of old,
Sought fun where it could be found,
Quick to be on top when tales were told,
Always trying to astound.
An’ let me tell you, they could be quick,
Whether it be April Fool joke,
Or just someone tryin’ to be slick,
With a question to provoke.
City folk picked on the western rube,
Pranksters came from all around,
Thinkin’ they weren’t the brightest flashcube,
This is where fun would be found.
Like for instance that bloke just passin’ through,
With his ”I know it all grin.”
He was smug, figgerin’ to pull a coup,
Come outta this with a win!
This traveler paused at the hog tight gate,
of the Quarter Circle C,
shadows were long, the day gettin’ late,
he rode up an’ said “Howdy.”
I bade him get down, said c’mon in,
we’ll put the coffee to hot,
he sat there, with a bit of a grin,
said he’d move on like as not.
But they was somthin’ he’d like to know,
“Had I lived here all my life?”
Well. I looks him up an’ down for show,
an’ throws a wink at my wife.
See, I’d seen fellers like this before,
an’ they’d come again I bet,
Mister, I’ll tell you one thing for certain shore…
“Lived here all my life?” No Sir!…NOT YET!
I won’t forget the look on his face,
He squirmed an’ wiggled a bit,
Shore ‘nuff beat an’ wallered in disgrace,
He’d fell short, he must admit.
But they told ‘em, he had faced the best,
So ride on without a say,
But beware of fellers in the west,
When it comes to April Fools Day!
© Ol’ Jim Cathey
Watch out for April Fools!
God Bless each of you and God Bless America!