Monday, March 31, 2008

all fools day

April the first. Let’s celebrate All Fool’s Day. This is the day we send people on Fools Errands, or harmlessly tease and mislead them. Sending a child to a shop for some elbow grease, or the supermarket for pigeon’s milk.

In the ‘Poor Robins Almanac’ of 1790, the following verse appeared

The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.

There are many theories as to the origin of All Fools Day, many connected to adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The first recorded prank was in 1698 when Londoners were invited to witness the washing of the Kings lions in the Tower of London ditch. They were told to enter the castle by the white door. The washing never took place, and there was no white door!

This year, as always, just about every newspaper, radio and television station will have a go at fooling us – before 12 noon of course. A prank perpetrated after that hour will result in the tables being turned and the joker becoming the fool.

April Fool's gone past,
And you're the biggest fool at last.

The most famous hoax was one carried out by BBC television in 1957 when it devoted an entire edition of the respected and revered current affairs programme Panorama to the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. It featured film of Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. The station was inundated with requests for instructions on how to grow your own pasta and they were advised to stick a piece of spaghetti in a tin can containing tomato sauce and hope for the best!

In 1989 chaos was caused on the London orbital motorway when a silver flying saucer landed in a nearby field and ‘creature’ stepped out. It was so realistic that within minutes London was put on alert due an imminent alien invasion. It was in fact a stunt pulled by hot-air balloon enthusiast and Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson!

In 1982 female workers at our national telephone provider, now known as British Telecom, where told to declare the type of bra they were wearing as a certain type was being recalled by the manufacturer. The paper claimed that the wire used in them had been found to interfere with telephone signals and the bosses of BT acually believed it!

The list is endless and includes a report in 1992 about a Japanese Marathon runner who misunderstood the rules and ran for 26 days instead of 26 miles, and an advert in 2002 by supermarket giant Tesco concerning a new carrot which whistled when it was perfectly cooked. A regional TV station reported in 1973 on the fictional village of Spiggot’s refusal to accept the new decimal currency resulting in hundreds of calls in support.

Now I have an admission to make. I was one of hundreds of folk who was taken in by a DJ on my local radio station a few years back when he announced that a replica of the Titanic would be passing Beachy Head cliff in Eastbourne. It didn’t of course, but so many people turned up that their combined weight caused a major crack to appear, and several days later a huge chunk of the cliff fell 600 feet into the sea below! Fortunately no one was present at the time!

But most of all the day is about fun. There won’t be child in the country who will miss out on a chance to embarrass his or her friend, and offices the country over will ring the annual chant of April Fool!

Because I’m such a generous person, I have a special surprise awaiting the first 6 people to click


  1. I never gave much thought to the history of April Fool's Day... You provided some good info. Thanks!

    First time to your blog. Will be back!


  2. hey happy fool's day to you to...

    and you called me a jackass?


  3. *snorts with laughter*

  4. *double snort*
    I'm stealing this for my blog. Full credit of course.

  5. Hey now I am a jackass? Triple snort. Thats okay always consider the source. LOL. Okay enough of the silliness I love your article Keith very informative. Happy April Fools Day to you too!



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