Happy April Fool’s Day from Metro City Roofing

April 01, 2020

April Fool’s Day (also known as All Fools Day) is a “holiday” that has been celebrated across the western hemisphere for centuries. April 1 is a holiday reserved for pulling pranks on friends and family with media outlets even joining in on the fun.

Here’s our top 10 list of excellent but family-friendly, safe pranks.

  1. Create an infinite loop of shopping carts around someone’s car
  2. Put a note on someone’s car that says, “I’m so sorry about damaging your car but had to leave”. Watch from a distance as they look all around the car for the non-existent damage.
  3. Add random photos to your family or office wall
  4. Fill a mayonnaise jar with yogurt or vanilla pudding and eat it with a spoon in front of people
  5. Put a fake parking ticket on the windshield of your newly driving teen
  6. Sew one of your kid’s socks closed halfway down
  7. Make “chocolate chip cookies” out of mashed potatoes and black beans
  8. Put a “for sale” sign in your neighbor’s front yard
  9. Paint a bar of soap with nail polish and leave it in the shower; the soap won’t lather, which should frustrate kids
  10. Make candied apples using onions
  11. Mix together various similar looking candies such as Skittles, M&M’s, and Reese’s Pieces

History of April Fool’s Day

The origin of April Fool’s Day is uncertain. Some historians suggest it resulted from the Ancient Roman renewal festival called “Hilaria”, which celebrated the end of the winter equinox and the beginning of spring on March 25. The festival honored Cybele, an ancient Greek Mother of Gods, with celebrations that included parades, masquerades, and jokes to celebrate the first day after the vernal equinox.

The most widely accepted belief, however, is that the tradition began in 1582. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII announced the end of the Julian calendar and the beginning of the Gregorian calendar, moving the start of the year from March to January 1. Not everyone understood this change. Those who failed to recognize the change were subjected to jokes and pranks. One popular joke involved placing a paper fish on the back of an unsuspecting victim to symbolize an easily caught or gullible person. They were then referred to as the “Poisson d’Avril” or the “April fish”. This practical joke is still carried out across Europe and Canada to this day.

In the 17th Century, the tradition made its way to Britain with the first instance of an April Fool’s joke dating back to 1698. The Dawks’ Newsletter ran an article informing its readers that a select number of people had been invited to the Tower of London to see the “washing of lions”, which was untrue. 

Scotland took things further in the 18th Century when April Fool’s Day became a two-day affair. Celebrations began with “hunting the gowk”; gowk being Scots for a “cuckoo” or “foolish person”. The “gowk” would be asked to deliver a message that requested the help of the recipient. The recipient would open the message to discover the following rhyme: “dinna laugh, dinna smile, hunt the gowk another mile,” which means “don’t laugh, don’t smile, send the fool another mile”. The recipient told the messenger they could only help if the letter was passed on to another person, and the cycle was repeated until the messenger realized they were being pranked.  

The second day was known as Tailie Day, and it consisted of practical jokes being carried out on a person’s derrière. It’s alleged that the infamous ‘kick me’ sign was born from this tradition.

Today, April Fool’s Day is still a permanent fixture in our society, with people both carrying out and falling for hoaxes every year.