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Over the past week, this blog has discussed the potential for office workers to be pranked on the first day of April. While many employees who have been polled in various surveys believe that workplace pranks are inappropriate, so many others advocate harmless jokes to lighten up the mood in the office. That goes double today, which is notoriously known for making fools out of friends, family members and co-workers.
According to Wikipedia.org, the earliest recorded acknowledgement of April Fools’ Day was found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s collection of stories, The Canterbury Tales. One of the stories entitled “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” is set on “Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two” which was interpreted by readers as March 32nd (or April 1st), although it probably meant 32 days after March.
That being May 2nd,, it marked “the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381.” Nevertheless, in Chaucer’s story, the rooster character of Chauntecler is tricked by a fox.
Today, April Fools’ Day is celebrated throughout the world and has given birth to some of the craziest pranks ever pulled. Among them is the British astronomer, Patrick Moore’s announcement on BBC Radio 2 in 1976. He declared that at 9:47 AM, the planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter creating a shift in gravitational alignment that would cause the Earth’s gravity to decrease.
According to MuseumOfHoaxes.com, “Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation.” Apparently, the radio station received “hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation.”
Back in North America, fast food chains have seemingly enjoyed getting in on the April Fools’ action. In 1996, Taco Bell announced that it had purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. As MuseumOfHoaxes.com describes, “Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke.”
Two years later, Burger King announced the introduction of the “Left-Handed Whopper” which was specially designed for the 32 million Americans who were lefties. Advertised in a full page advertisement in USA Today, this new Whopper incited both lefties to order it and right-handed customers to request the “regular version” – even though the ad was revealed to be a hoax the following day.
The staff at Synergy definitely had their fair share of fun today. Between cell phones being stolen, being told that there would be no breaks taken today and having one employee screamed at for inproper use of a toilet, many members of our team became victims of an April Fools’ Day prank.
As cautioned by previous blogs however, our team knew to keep the jokes lighthearted and enjoyable for all those involved. We hope you enjoyed your day as well. And that’s no joke!