No Joke!

Gigantic beer stein. According to its display,...

Gigantic beer stein. According to its display, it was made in Germany, weighs 35 lbs empty, holds 8.45 gallons of beer, features the scene of a Flemish country wedding on the stein, and Gabrinus on the lid; it includes a German phrase translating to “He who can empty this stein is truly a man”. Located at the Pine Cheese Mart and Von Klopp Brew Shop, Pine Island, Minnesota, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This just in: It turns out human beings have more than five senses. Yes, there’s hearing, touch, taste, smell and sight, but it appears we also own a sense of humor.

Okay, except for Germany. Oddly enough, in several international polls, Germans collectively rank at the bottom in number of office pranks, comedy clubs and pictures with finger antennae sticking up behind people’s heads.

They do however find themselves at the top position for number of hemorrhoids per person in any given month.

I’m thinking both may be fixed by an increase in fiber and the occasional light beer.

(To be fair, I know a good handful of Germans and have witnessed firsthand their uncontrolled belly laughs with or without the additions of heavily flour laden food.)

Back to my point; what is it about April 1st (or March 32nd in many circles) that brings out such tomfoolery in many of us? Is it the desperate reversal of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? The whole ‘the sap is running’ syndrome?

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Ser...

Or maybe we’re mistaking raucous laughter for the mad hysteria that usually grips people when realizing they have two weeks left before the government makes fools of all of us.

Not everyone finds the same things funny. But on the whole, most of the world can agree that mocking their bosses is a personal pastime that will help make the work hours fly by. Sadly, mocking their bosses in front of said bosses will make the work hours nonexistent.

Unless you are a military family and moved around the bases with the same speed as either Jose Reyes in baseball or Hugh Hefner with women, it’s easy to shrug with confusion over what makes people in other countries giggle with glee.

The French like to secretly attach a paper fish to a person’s back.

Flemish kids lock their folks out of the house.

Polish kids lock their folks and themselves out of the house.

joanie loves chachi

(Photo credit: Rakka)

It’s a weird world, but maybe no nation is as weird as the land of the free, the brave and the willing to dress their pets in miniature Star Wars costumes. Yes, maybe America takes the cake for the most head scratching forms of humor created. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when our funny bone fractured and warped, but I’d guess it started when the TV series Joanie Loves Chachiaired.

Worldwide, we’ve never been looked at quite the same.

Although science has not been able to manufacture humor into pill form, and there’s still that sticky bit about double blind trials, research and proof, laughter has been known to cure what ails us—if only temporarily.

Chuckling obviously makes you more attractive and approachable, but it also boosts the immune system, releases endorphins and protects the heart. It does not, however, aid digestion when you do it upside down after a full meal. Best case scenario: no one is beneath you on the monkey bars after Thanksgiving supper. (Been there, done that.)

We crave laughter. We seek out comedians, forward knee-slapping jokes and tune in regularly for the President’s State of the Union address. I know one woman who says she won’t consider anything funny unless it makes her lose control of her bladder—just a little. (I’m sorry, but even with the qualifier that statement makes the top of my eww list.)

And what of pranks? April Fool’s Day presents an opportunity to show your loved ones, if not the world at large, just how far you’re willing to take a hoax to pinpoint a posse of prize saps.

Photograph of a woman harvesting spaghetti in ...

Photograph of a woman harvesting spaghetti in the BBC programme (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you participate? The BBC does. In fact, I suspect they may have a department solely formed to organize and plan for just this one day of the year. Who can forget the clever Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Hoax where broadcaster Richard Dimbleby revealed that an early influx of warm weather across Europe resulted in an exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop?

Do you remember in 1980 how the BBC reported that in order to keep up with the times, the face of London’s Clock Tower (which houses Big Ben) was going digital?

Animation of the act of unrolling a circle's c...

Animation of the act of unrolling a circle’s circumference, illustrating the ratio π. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My favorite has got to be from 1998 when it was rumored that the Alabama state legislature was in the process of changing the mathematical value of pi from 3.14159 to the Biblical value of 3. I’m still choking on my Cheerios over that one.

Whether you’ve waited all year to hoodwink your homeboys or you palpitate with paranoia at being the targeted prey, have a hearty hoot at the hilarity others have pulled on a few unsuspecting victims. Here’s a list of the top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of all time.

Now tell me … have you got something to add to the list?

Happy fooling around!


Don’t forget to check out what’s cookin’ in the Scullery this week (here) and what we’re all talkin’ about down in the pub (here).


9 thoughts on “No Joke!

  1. Perhaps the following wouldn’t fit in the traditional April Fools list of ground rules… but it worked for us.

    Growing up with the, ah… friends I did (and for perhaps many unknown reasons even to ourselves why we are still), I too have many stories that could be shared which should prove perhaps each of us should be in some life commited therapy house. Saddly, most of those stories either deal with too much alcohol, farm animals, womens clothing or, at worst, some combination of all. So, we’ll just leave those in the past.

    However, one April fools day gift was, and still is shared each year regarding a best friend’s old truck, fly fishing with my buds, a grand catch of trout (and one sucker); need I forget to say the first two weeks in April of that year were abnormally hot.

    After one of our group (the brilliant one with the truck) consumed ALL the beer and sandwiches (as he thought it was “a good joke”) we brought for those two days of lush catch & release, our stomachs were empty but the last joke was for him.

    In short, the only fish we kept was the sucker and in a round-about-way, we
    gifted it to him. It only took him three weeks to find it. His truck, should I say was never the same.

    My dearest Shelley, keep writing… your words refresh old fond memories.

    Stosh 🙂

  2. As a youth, one April Fools, I hooked into our home doorbell system in the basement … first ringing the front doorbell, and then the rear … listening to my mother’s footfalls and timing the rings to send her scurrying back and forth … actually … I intermittently did the same for several months following til my younger bother (a.k.a. brother) … ratted me out. I am sure glad she had a well developed sense of humor … LOL. I’ll save the story about the blasting machine (e.g. old fashioned plunger type), a roll of wire, and my younger bother for another time. I must say though, younger bothers are amazing resilient … must be that Darwinian thing. Thanks for a great read, and loved the farm photo of the week. Take care. Gary

    • Wow, you had two doorbells? I’ve hired a woodpecker for our front door. Not terribly reliable, but persistent and cheap.
      Hope your mum was the forgiving sort. I’d still be planning revenge–for when you least expected it. Like 30 years later. 😉

      • Forgiving … yes, she was … sort of … I believe my next haircut after said event was a tad shorter than normal … followed by a “Oh my” … “did I do that” from her. As a retired school teacher with almost 40 years of experience under her belt, she is still a force to be reckoned with! So yes, I still am waiting for the other shoe to drop … LOL … Take care, Gary

  3. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was once entirely right.
    This put up actually made my day. You cann’t believe simply
    how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

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