Oh how I do loathe this day.
I’ll admit, I hate most jokes that are commonly associated with April Fool’s Day, because often the jokes which people say are in good fun are actually really belittling, demeaning, insulting, and in many cases really dangerous. Only once in my 42 (almost 43) trips around Ol’ Sol have I encountered an April Fool’s joke that was harmless fun. I’ll detail that one because it was pretty good.
I was, at one time, a huge (HUGE) Ottawa Senators fan. I still follow the team, but my fanatic nature has waned since there’s been several lockouts, with this season being the clincher. But at the time this joke took place, I was still firmly planted in the Sens camp. When this joke took place is also when Wayne Gretzky was still playing. There had been many rumours that Gretzky would be traded from LA at the time, and one of my co-workers at the radio station in Rosetown where I worked set this one up. In our news room we had the Broadcast News Wire Feed, which is a network that puts together stories from all around the world and allows newscasters to print off what they need to in order to fill up a news cast with national and international content. The problem is, and this may be a good thing as well, you can edit files on the BN computer and they look like real stories. Save for certain things that give it away, but if you aren’t looking for them, then you don’t notice them. Anyway, my co-worker made up a really convincing story that Gretzky had been traded to the Ottawa Senators which sent me into a tizzy. My co-worker had a good laugh.
Now that’s an April Fool’s joke done well. There was no harm, no injuries, it didn’t humiliate the target, and fortunately my co-worker managed to stop me before I went on air with the story.
But doing things like making it hard to drive your car to work in the morning, that’s not a joke that’s plain rude. Placing huge amounts of dangerous items in an office isn’t funny, it could end up being very life threatening. There have been jokes in the past which have gone horribly, horribly wrong. Is it any wonder that when I went to school, teachers reminded students that April Fool’s Day ended at 12 Noon (whereby it was reminded that the person playing the prank would become the fool).
Jokes can be in good fun, but for some it brings a high amount of anxiety. If you know that a person has a high amount of anxiety, yet still want to do a good joke “because they need to lighten up” then you need to stop. Because it’s not fun for them at all.