I hate April Fool’s Day.
Oh, it’s a charming little story, how it came to be. How the old New Year’s Day was actually in late March for the longest time, and how those who refused to celebrate the newly declared January 1 new year date and held to the traditional date – now moved back a bit to April thanks to the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar – were labeled April Fools. Hey – I’ve never fully come to grips with the whole “new year starts in January” thing either. I’m an academic. As far as I am concerned, the new year starts in September.
Unless that whole story is just another April Fool’s joke. Wouldn’t surprise me if it were.
I’m not entirely sure how you get from a quiet little story about people refusing to move a holiday – the sort of conversations that happen every year in this country whenever the subject of President’s Day versus Washington’s Birthday staggers out of its swamp to consume the brains of the living – to the current state of the day, wherein one is supposed to celebrate the kinds of mean-spirited pranks that on any other day of the year would earn the perpetrator a well-deserved punch in the nose. I’m sure it made sense to someone at the time.
Maybe the day holds no appeal to me because I never saw much point in those kinds of pranks to begin with. They just seem like ways to inflict pain on others while demanding that the victims find it funny to be placed in that situation. It's Theatre of Cruelty for the unambitious. I’d like to think this is something people would outgrow by the time they learned how to tie their own shoes, but then I’d be wrong.
Oh, sure. Most of it is harmless. Some of it might actually be amusing when seen from the right angle. A lot can be funny if it happens to someone else, after all.
And maybe I’m just a big old grouch who should be left alone to stew on the sad state of the world these days and why won’t these dratted kids get off my lawn anyway.
But I’ll be glad to see tomorrow.