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April Fools Pranks
March 31, 2011

It's almost that time - April Fools Day - when pranksters pull tricks on their family, friends, and coworkers to celebrate the first day of April. From simple tricks like a joy buzzer handshake to a full blown conspiracy that requires weeks of planning and teams up the entire office to trick a hapless coworker, April Fools Pranks run the full spectrum. As long as your pranks aren't mean spirited or intended to cause bodily harm, it's all in good fun! Perhaps you've already got an elaborate scheme planned, or maybe you're still searching for ideas to top last year's goof. Either way, here are some ideas that might help.

April Fools Day's origins are unclear. Some historians believe that the tradition of early April joke-playing originated in France in the late 16th century when the country switched from the Julian calendar, which placed New Years Day in late March/early April, to the Georgian calendar, which celebrates the new year on January 1st. News traveled slowly in those days, and more rurally located, poorly educated, or just plain inattentive folks were unaware of the calendar change for years and continued the celebrate the new year in the Spring. Some people simply refused to acknowledge the new calendar out of stubbornness. Those who followed the changed calendar were said to have pulled tricks on those who didn't, inviting them to non-existent parties, or sending them on "fool's errands," and these prankees came to be known as April Fools.

Some well known pranks have been pulled in the name of April Fools Day. In 1965, the BBC Network announced that they were introducing "Smellovision" which would purportedly allow viewers to smell whatever appeared on their TV screens. Some viewers even called the network to report that it worked! In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full page ad in several newspapers announcing that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell as a gesture to help reduce the national debt and would be renaming it the "Liberty Taco Bell." Perhaps inspired by Taco Bell's prank, on April 1st, 1998 Burger King took out an advertisement to introduce a new "left-handed" Whopper hamburger that was supposedly designed to allow the condiments to drip on the right side of the sandwich. Many restaurants in the chain reported customers requesting the new lefty Whoppers, as well as some who made it a point to request the original right handed recipe.

You may not have the resources to pull off a prank quite as elaborate as those, but here are a few ideas you might try. An airbrush tattoo kit will allow you to create incredibly realistic looking temporary tattoos. Give your straight-laced boss, spouse, or parents a jolt when you show up sporting a big spider tattoo on your neck! Then once they've calmed down, you can wash it off easily. The blast of a powerful train horn when it's least expected will scare the pants off of your intended victim. Just make sure you're not TOO close - you want to scare them, not cause permanent hearing loss! For a creepier trick, let someone walk into your kitchen to find a meat grinder, a bowl of freshly ground meat, and a pile of dog collars. Or just put on a silly costume, walk into work with a straight face, and wait to see who says something first.

Whatever prank you choose, keep it safe and light-hearted and have fun this April Fools Day!



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