We’re all familiar with this guy aren’t we.
As far as I’m aware, there have been no practical jokers in my family, though we all enjoy a good laugh. Dad was usually the one to see the funny side of most situations. I remember him having a Mâitre de going round in circles looking for the table for a party of 8, when Dad had actually booked a table for 4 for 8pm. The guy in the Black Suit was not amused, yet it was his misunderstanding.
In my banking days, way before direct debits, in-house and individual computers, most of the paperwork was hand written. Our standing order clerk decided to get ahead of the game in anticipation of hundreds of instructions being received for the council rates, and had prepared a huge pile of ‘blank’ computer input slips already made out with the council’s bank details, dates and various spaces and dashes to insert the relevant reference numbers. Our assistant manager generated a ‘memo’ to say that the council had changed account numbers, and we thought the clerk was going to burst into tears. Luckily, he was prevented from destroying all his hard work.
I have known people take the day off on April 1st, or a Friday 13th, because they don’t want to fall victim to a practical joke or are superstitious.
Many years ago, medieval banquets were all the rage for office parties, and one company CEO convinced a particular member of staff that it was fancy dress. He and his girlfriend turned up suitably attired whilst the rest of us were in more casual evening wear. There were several company ‘dos’ on that night in the huge hall with over 150 people, and this couple were (quite correctly in my opinion) voted our ‘Lord and Lady’ for the evening. They got their own back on the bosses as you had to ask their permission to do anything, from passing the salt to going to the loo.
My ex husband could never get it right for his company social events.
The first dinner we attended I bought a new evening dress and he wore his wedding suit, but everyone else was in jeans. The next year I wore a pair of smart trousers, but everyone was in full evening dress and dinner jackets, dripping furs and diamonds, and I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die quietly. I passed on the third invitation and was divorced by the fourth.
I suppose my biggest embarrassment was at a dinner party of a rather well-to-do gentleman I had come to know when I applied for the position of his Housekeeper. I attended with the boyfriend of the time and to say he let me down is a slight understatement.
He complained that his ham starter tasted funny (it was smoked salmon) , his main course of chicken and stuffing was off (it was duck with an orange stuffing) , and his meringue dessert wasn’t cooked (baked alaska) . As if that wasn’t enough, he made a fuss that he only got a ‘mean dribble’ of the after dinner brandy in the snifter glass, and then finished the humiliation by proceeding to roll himself a cigarette from a tatty pack of baccy and papers.
Luckily for me, my friend and his guests were amused and accepted it as the entertainment for the evening. I kept in contact with him for a year or so even though I didn’t take the job offered, and the boyfriend was kicked into touch.
There have been some pretty unique April Fool’s jokes in the media :
The Spaghetti Tree from 1957 (still holds the Number One position in the top 100)
The Left Handed Whoppa (Burger King 1998) where all ingredients were rotated one hundred and eighty degrees for left handed customers (many actually asked for one):
Metric Time(Australia 1975) with 100 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays:
The Interference Bra (Daily Mail report 1982) where a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 “rogue bras”. Apparently the support wire therein had been made out of a type of copper originally designed for use in fire alarms. When it came into contact with nylon and body heat, it produced static electricity which interfered with local television and radio broadcasts.
The internet is full of them, and no doubt there will be a fair few new ones today as the radio DJs try to fool us and headlines are deliberately misleading. Hope I don’t get caught!