Ship of Fools

Good morning, faithful reader. It’s another disgustingly beautiful day here in the Lakeside Area. Spring has sprung. I’ve been working in our gardens planting flowers and stuff.

Little Known Fact About My Lovely Supermodel Wife: Lea loves gardens. And Another Little Known Fact About My Lovely Supermodel Wife: Lea hates to garden.

As a result, I’ve kind of become a gardening guy. It’s one of the many services I provide to keep my wife happy. Studies have shown that if your spouse is happy, they are much less likely to try to kill you. Or hire someone else to kill you. I’ve watched enough murder mysteries to know that it’s always the spouse.

The temperature here is in the mid-80’s. It’s the peak of the Dry Season, so it’s also the peak of Allergy Season.

The jacaranda trees are all in bloom.

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See? They really are pretty!

While they’re incredibly beautiful to see, they also produce a type of pollen that effects almost everyone down here.

A lots of people suffer from seasonal allergies. Sneezing. Runny nose. Sinus congestion. Scratchy throat. Watery eyes. Sound familiar? Seasonal allergies are rarely fatal, but they can make you miserable enough to make you wish you’d get dead.

Possible Little Known Fact About Allergies: you can develop an allergy to practically anything at any time. Once you have an allergy to something, you’ll probably have it for the rest of your life.

If you don’t have any allergies now, you might have something to look forward to…

* * * *

It’s April Fools’ Day! Just in cases you were wondering, this day is an annual worldwide celebration of playing practical jokes on each other and spreading hoaxes.

As someone posted on Twitter the other day, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me fourteen times, you’re Gonzaga.

Back when I was a psych nurse, I once started a new job on April 1st. It might have been the longest day of my life. I got pranked all day. By the time my shift was over, I pretty much hated all of my new coworkers. It was a new hospital. New policies and procedures. And psych nurses tend to have a twisted sense of humor. Some of them even enlisted the help of their patients.

The only good thing about that was they didn’t have any of their patients stick anything up their asses. That’s not something psych nurses usually have to ask their patients to do. It’s something they’ll do all by themselves.

* * * *

“I need a new bottle of shampoo.”

“What happened to your old bottle of shampoo?”

“It’s up my ass.”

“How did it get there?”

“I sat on it. Accidentally.”

It’s always an accident because things just naturally tend to slide up into your ass when you sit on them.

* * * *

April 1st is a common day for companies to get in on the fun and pull their own brand of special pranks. Among the most famous were Taco Bell claiming they had purchased the naming rights to the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. Amazon claiming it had invented the Petlexa to allow pet owners to communicate with their animals. Burger King unveiled the Chocolate Whopper. And the Left-handed Whopper.

Perhaps the greatest April Fools’ joke in history was pulled off by the BBC in 1957. It ran a report on one of its current affairs programs, Panorama, about a bumper crop of spaghetti being grown on trees in Switzerland. The film showed women plucking strands of cooked spaghetti off of branches. Voiced by respected British news anchor Richard Dimbleby, it was so convincing the BBC received calls from viewers weeks later asking how they could grow their own spaghetti tree.

As Abraham Lincoln said after watching the show, “You can’t believe everything you see on TV.”

* * * *

The origins of April Fools’ Day are somewhat murky–

Oh, man! Are you going to give us another history lesson, Herodotus?

Yes, I am. And if I weren’t already writing this, I’d suggest that you take notes.

Some historians believe the April Fools’ customs began in France. New Year’s Day used to be celebrated on April 1st until the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the 1500’s, and the new year started on January 1st. The people who still celebrated the new year on April 1st in France were called April Fools.

Also in France, April 1st is called Poisson d’Avril, or, April Fish. French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends’ backs. The origin of the fish thing is pretty much a mystery, but I guess the French must think that fish are stupid.

Other historians believe that April Fools’ customs began during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine–1200 years earlier–when a group of court jesters and fools told their ruler that they could do a better job of running the empire than he did. Fortunately for them, Constantine was amused and allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.

In Scotland, April Fools’ lasts two days!! Victims of pranks are called gowks (cuckoo birds). The second day is known as Taily Day, and pranks involving the backside are played. Supposedly, it is the origin of Kick Me signs.

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Thank you for that, Scotland

At least they don’t lift your kilt…

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Oh. Never mind. You owe me two beers, ya great gowk!

Whatever the truth might be, April Fools’ Day pranks have been around for a while. You know, in the same way that stupid people have. If I were able to choose one day to celebrate the stupidity of people, I would’ve chosen Election Day.

Mexico celebrates April Fools’ Day on December 28th, the Feast Day of the Holy Innocents. Día de los Santos Inocentes commemorates the biblical story of King Herod’s order to execute all of male infants in Bethlehem to kill baby Jesus, the prophesized King of Kings. Herod wasn’t in the mood to be removed from his throne, and seeing how all babies tend to look alike, he had all of the competition murdered. You know, to decrease the odds that he had the wrong kid killed to death.

In Mexico, on December 28th, people play jokes and pranks to trick friends and family. The media also gets involved by reporting false news stories. When somebody falls for the false news or prank they say, “Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar hoy por ser dia 28 en nadie debes confiar.”  

Roughly translated, “Neener, neener, you’re a weiner and only a fool would trust you.”

They tie a dead, bloated fish to your back, lift up your serape, and kick you in the cojones. Then they beat you with tree branches until the dead fish explodes. If you’re still conscious by this time, you get to drink a shot of tequila. If not, you’re left laying in the street to die.

April Fools!!

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