Once a year, it’s acceptable for people to commit atrocities against each other in the name of humor, but April Fools’ Day actually owes its creation to another, ostensibly less violent occasion. Once upon a time, February 2 was celebrated by injecting beavers with steroids and then releasing them in churches with the goal of browbeating God into ending winter. That changed when those animals became more valuable for their pelts than for their destructive abilities, a shift that caused celebrants to switch from beavers and steroids to inviting aliens to do that. The aliens weren’t very good at bringing down churches, but they were great at gnawing through the people inside them (yes, they gnaw…). That part of Alien Day never gets much press, though, so all that people see on TV is the sanitized nobody-gets-gnawed-to-death interpretation of the Holy Day. Proponents of the more deadly version of the celebration protest this censorship every year on April Fools Day, which is about the earliest that it’s safe to go outside. Those roving packs of rabid groundhogs don’t start returning to their home planets until the end of March when the sky clears and they have 100% visibility. The protests aren’t very organized because those who truly appreciate alien-on-human violence also have very short attention spans, so it’s not entirely surprising that sign holding and self-righteous anger quickly give way to lame pranks and fake news stories on the first day of April every year.
[There are always ‘alternate truths’ if you don’t want to believe this story… read up the fish story here…]
While most April Fools’ Day pranks don’t ruin enough lives to warrant mentioning, it’s important to remember the momentous antics that have transpired on this day in history. Life pulled a pretty good joke years ago at the start of April when it gave Franklin Roosevelt polio. The Third Crusade was another memorable prank. Nothing says "just kidding" quite like scorched earth and dead people. You might not be able to give debilitating diseases or start holy wars at will, but there’s still quite a bit you can do to rise above the typical I-put-salt-in-your-coffee stunts that mar the workplace. Instead of messing with your coworker’s beverage, mess with his wife. You won’t have to worry about pranks in the future since every year at the start of April you can fondly recall that your fellow employee is unknowingly raising your illegitimate child. (Don’t do your cuckoo dance just yet, there are repercussions…) The only problem with this prank is that if you share it with the office to earn those well deserve laughs, you’ll also have to pay child support. The solution is to confess to fatherhood only if the rabid aliens are in a position to devour your love child before they hunker away for the season. Not all April Fools’ jokes involve ruinous acts of procreation, but most of the really good ones do.
One of the reasons this Holy Day doesn’t really appeal to me is that it relies heavily on lies and deceit, which are skills I use as part of my normal work day. For those of you who don’t have the privilege of being entirely dishonest for eight hours every day, a little disinformation could be a great way to celebrate the occasion. Type up a fake performance review for the guy in the next cubicle comprised entirely of effusive praise and left-handed compliments: “Mr. Rao is an employee whose work ethic and job performance are beyond reproach. We are confident that he will be management material if he ever gets his conspicuous body odor problem under control. He has the moral leadership skills this office needs, especially if at least half of the very public rumors about his deviant sexual conduct prove to be mildly exaggerated.” Make sure to deliver the document with an attached bar of soap and a photocopy of the laws concerning bestiality in your country.
As with all things in life, the best April Fools pranks involve the police. Calling in bomb threats happens too much on regular work days to deserve an appearance here, but reports of other criminal misdeeds are sure to keep your April Fools’ celebration interesting. Find a coworker whose out of the office for the day, and then call the police claiming to have uncovered a criminal situation in his cubicle. Law enforcement officials will be impressed when you point out the grow lights and two dozen marijuana plants that have been in that four-walled work space ever since you put them there three minutes earlier. Your workplace acquaintance will have a good laugh when cops kick down the door to his home and haul him in for questioning. In order to pull this one off effectively, you’ll need to have marijuana plants and the accompanying growing supplies nearby for when the big day rolls around. I suggest growing them in your own cubicle under large camouflage nets. If any of your supervisors question what you’re up to, calmly throw them off you’re trail by claiming that you’re running a meth-lab. The best way to cover up for a crime is with lies about an even bigger crime. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to destroy the office with that steroid-enhanced beaver you’ve been saving for just such an occasion.
April Fools’ day isn’t as glamorous or purposeful as most other holidays, but it generally manages to disrupt my work routine enough to earn my seal of approval. My daily job performance is a joke, so I could probably let that one stand on its own without doing anything extra to celebrate, but as always I’m willing to put in additional effort at all tasks except the ones I’m actually paid to do. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do when I arrive at the office this afternoon, but putting in my two-week notice last Thursday seems like a good start. Now if my pranks get me fired, the worst punishment they can give me is an unpaid two-week vacation before I start my new job.
Update: Somebody just told me that April Fools’ day is on 1st of April…. Shit!!!
[note: the ‘alien’ thing is a brainchild of a friend of mine; "thanks dude for the inspiration"]