I live in a part of the world that celebrates April Fools’ Day on the first day of April. I don’t know how it all got started, there are theories, but it is the one day of the year when we actually celebrate ‘the silly’. It is when the crazy folk interact with the normal folk and the normal folk get a little crazy.
Every year we pull practical jokes on each other. Most are funny, some are hilarious and some . . . not so much. It’s one of the few days of the year when it’s acceptable for adults to behave like children and children to go hog-wild. It can also be one of the most terrifying days of the year! After all, somebody has to have the trick played on them.
Now most pranks are pretty ordinary. Exchanging sugar for salt or vice versa, putting a note on someone’s car apologizing for the damage then watch them go over their car diligently looking for said damage. But there was one April Fools’ Day prank that topped them all.
It happened in 1957 on April 1. The BBC put out a three minute report about a family in Switzerland ‘gathering’ their harvest of spaghetti trees after a mild winter. The report was further legitimized by using footage of a traditional ‘Harvest Festival’ along with discussing how to produce the perfect strain of spaghetti that would be the correct length. The report was so well-done that there were consequences.
At the time spaghetti was something exotic, that came in a tin with tomato sauce. No one knew about pasta. The people didn’t know where spaghetti came from. Hundreds phoned in to the BBC to ask how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. Supposedly the BBC told them to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best”.
Now that’s a practical joke! What are you doing today?