First Fridays with the Crew. Fool You Once...

April Fool's!

Today the crew is celebrating a day of light-hearted fun...or mean pranks, depending on your point of view.

E.E. Burke

Being a history geek, I was curious as to when all this foolishness originated. Here's what I found out…

References to April Fool's Day can be found in the early 1500s but these references were infrequent and often vague. It wasn't until the 1700s that detailed references to this curious tradition began to appear with regularity. But by that time, the custom was established throughout northern Europe and was regarded as coming from antiquity. How could a tradition be adopted by so many different European cultures without provoking comments in the written record?

April Fool’s!

Theories have been put forward about how the tradition began but few have enough evidence to back them up. So, the origin of the "custom of making April Fools" remains a mystery.

Let’s take a look at some of the most famous April Fool’s jokes.

Surely, you jest! 
I worked for the Associated Press for two years, so I know how seriously they take the news. But being the first to break a story sometimes leads to red faces later...

In 1983, Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University, provided an alternative explanation for the origins of April Fools' Day. He claimed to have traced the practice to Constantine's period, when a group of court jesters jocularly told the emperor that jesters could do a better job of running the empire, and the amused emperor nominated a jester, Kugel, to be the king for a day. Boskin related how the jester passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day and the custom became an annual event. Boskin explained the jester's role as being able to put serious matters into perspective with humor.

An Associated Press article brought this alternative explanation to public's attention in newspapers, not knowing that Boskin had invented the entire story as an April Fool's joke and the new organization was not made aware of this until some weeks later!

Taco Liberty Bell
In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, announcing they had purchased the Liberty Bell to “reduce the country’s debt” and had renamed it the Taco Libery Bell. When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial. 

OK, now that you’re laughing, let’s get to my favorite…

Light on their feet.

In 1976, British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners of the BBC Radio that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull, making people lighter at precisely 9:47 am that day. He invited his audience to jump in the air and experience "a strange floating sensation". Dozens of listeners phoned in to say the experiment had worked, among them a woman who reported that she and her 11 friends were "wafted from their chairs and orbited gently around the room.

The Brits will believe anything! 

Proof in point: This 1857 invitation lured many guests.

The "Annual Ceremony of Washing the Lions" at the Tower of London. Can anyone spell g-u-l-l-i-b-l-e? 

This month, I have a new book coming out. Patrick’s Charm, Book 2 in The Bride Train series. It's a story about a mummified mail-order bride who becomes a mortician's favorite piece of jewelry... 

April Fool's! 

OK, enough fooling around. Let’s see what the rest of the crew has to say about April Fool’s Day…

Clover Autry

I have a brother who was born on this date. He was the first boy after 5 daughters so when my prankster dad tried to tell my grandparents the good news, they were convinced it was an April Fool's prank. A boy? Right. They wouldn't believe it until they saw the baby for themselves. 

Here's a Time Travel "April Fool's"...

The Sweetheart Tree by Clover Autry

Not a history enthusiast, Bree doesn’t pay much attention while at the Civil War museum with her history-buff sister. Though letters behind glass and a multitude of initials carved into the Sweetheart Tree do cause Bree to wonder if she will ever find someone to love that wholeheartedly.

She never expected to be thrown back in time; or to find the answer in the warm gaze of a confederate lieutenant. A lieutenant who, should he live, will alter history

Alexa Bourne

April Fool's Day has never been very important in my world until my second year of teaching. 

I was teaching 2nd grade and I had a very rambunctious student, a little girl who acted silly, drove the staff crazy and had one of those smiles that made you forget all the problems she instigated. 

To Purchase
One day we were talking about birthdays and she blurted out that hers was April 1st

I thought she was playing a joke...until I checked her file in the office. At that point I thought if anyone should have an April 1st birthday it should be this child! For the record, she's now in college, we're still in contact and she's still a great person!

My latest release is about a psychic...no kidding... 

Avril Tremayne 

I'm sure there are many April Fool's jokes I've experienced in my life that I've blocked out of my memory banks as too traumatic! 

But coincidentally, at a recent family gathering, I asked the general question if anyone was planning anything special for April 1 2016, and the only pregnant member of the family - who works about 2,000 hours a day (slight exaggeration) and is planning on going on maternity leave only a few days before the due date in April - said she'd been pondering whether to pretend her waters had broken on April 1.
To Purchase

I can only imagine the pandemonium that would ensue!

Weirdly, one of my books has an unexpected delivery, which puts the heroine (a nurse) and hero (a TV star/Documentary maker) on the spot to deliver a baby at  home out of the blue - but it is no joke, I assure you.

Regan Walker

This is one April Fool's joke that backfired on me. My son was raised to be unafraid of any critter. But for some odd reason he fears spiders. One April Fool's Day when he was about 8, I served up his breakfast oatmeal and said, "Oh dear, there's a spider in it!" 

He backed away from the bowl so fast he was a blur. His grandmother, sitting next to him, just smiled. (She wasn't afraid of spiders either.) 

I said, "It's April's Fools, honey. Not to worry!" Well, do you think he would eat that oatmeal after that? Not on your life.

My new release, coming in May, is REBEL WARRIOR, book 3 in the Medieval Warriors series, which can be read as a stand alone. A tale from Scotland of old where danger lurks in every corner with raiding Northmen, clashes with Norman knights and love’s betrayal in the king’s court—an adventure with true love as its end!

Have fun today! And don't get fooled!

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