As the youngest of three siblings, the arrival of April Fools’ day was never exactly a reason to celebrate. As a kid, I recall awakening — breathless, disoriented, in a cold sweat — to the sight of my sister bleeding-out on my bedroom floor, a butcher knife jutting out from her armpit. (Yes, that happened.) My brother, not interested in “Harold & Maude” theatrics, would opt instead for pain, cackling “April Fools” as he smacked me upside the head with his palm, the stone from his high school ring turned inward to underscore the joy of the occasion. Hitting me didn’t exactly qualify as a prank I’d foolishly try to explain. Judging by his laughter, it fit the bill for him.
On this day devoted to pranking, I can at least take a bit of solace in knowing that I’m not the only fool. Cultures across the globe have long celebrated a “Fools Day” at the onset of spring to facilitate the humiliation of the weak, the young, and the naive. Keep Reading