Monday, April 1, 2019

Don't Forget This is First of April -- April 1, 2019

Washington Star, 01-April-1919

Watch for Silk Hat Loaded With Bricks, Beware of Phone Numbers, Etc.

Look out for the April fool jokester today.

The world probably does more, at least in some directions: for example, note the league of nations, bolshevism, wireless telephony, Gene Debs sentenced to jail, rumors of the discovery in Washington of a landlord with human emotions and a few other things.

But in other ways -- well, it's a safe bet that about the first thing Ham, Shem and Japhet did when they reached their port of debarkation was to rig up an old silk hat with a couple of bricks in it, for their poor old dad to crash his unprotected toes against.

And boys have been doing the same thing every recurrent April 1 since then.

Phone Means of Jest.

Also, perhaps if Alexander Graham Bell et al. had realized the glee with which merry jesters who attain perihelion on April 1 each year would fly to the well known telephone as an aid and abettor of their quips, they might have hesitated before giving the invention to the world. Wherefore, if one calls today and leaves a message to the effect that you are to get in touch with Mr. Lyon at Columbia 3892, or says that Mr. Fish, at Main 5240, wishes to speak with you, burst into raucous laughter, bearing in mind that the first number is the National Zoological Park and the other is the bureau of fisheries.

Likewise, heed not the altruistic person who accosts you on the street and tells you your shoelace is untied or your garter has broken its moorings. Perhaps it is true and perhaps it isn't. Anyhow, safety first is a good motto for this entire day.

Hard to Trace Its Origin.

The origin of All Fools day is not easy to trace. No one seems to be able to say how far back the custom existed in England nor from whence it came, but the literature of the last two centuries has many allusions to April fooling. In France the same custom exists. The pranks played there on that day are called poissons d'Avril or April fishes. There is evidence of April fooling existing in France at an earlier date than in England.

The earliest trace of the practice which is so widely prevalent over the earth is a Hindoo festival which is celebrated on March 31 and is precisely similar in character.

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