Today is April Fool’s Day in America and, like a precocious and mindless 10-year old child, I was trying to figure out what kind of April Fool’s Day joke I could press on you. Here were the choices I came up with over the last couple of days: 


1. Urban Semiotic is closing down because I’m burned out on the topic and on the writing of it every day all day.

2. A $1,000.00 USD Amazon.com spending spree to the first person who posts 100 comments over the next week.

3. Opening Anonymous comments here again and publishing only those which could be proven to be Spam.

Then I began to consider the result of the April Fool’s Day joke: Someone’s feelings would be hurt and they might look or feel stupid for my laughing benefit.

April Fool’s Day is a celebration of Schadenfraude, a German term that loosely breaks down into schaden (wound, pain) and fraude (happiness) and it means you find joy in someone else’s misfortune and while that isn’t a very funny idea, millions of dollars have been earned under the Schadenfreude umbrella of Candid Camera and Punk’d
and other “gotcha” shows.

I realized there can be only three outcomes for an April Fool’s Day joke:

1. No one cares.

2. Someone gets caught and becomes embarrassed and you laugh at them for trusting you.

3. Nobody is fooled and the perpetrator looks stupid in a divine reversal of the day for true Schadenfreude payback on the one person who deserves that end.

So in the final call someone will look dumb or be made to feel stupid as the intention of our current April Fool’s Day ideology and while those are all divine human emotions in the right context I do not feel comfortable trying to force any of them on those who choose to read and to participate in this blog.

So if you’re looking for a spider in your pants or a cream pie in you face — you won’t find that here today.

Today on April Fool’s Day I am only offering you friendship and respect in a time where every day of our modern lives already play us as April Fools — so together we will laugh at the Schadenfreude others have pressed into our lives and we will pity them for having such a low need to find joy in the misery of others.

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at Boles.com | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.

34 Comments

  1. Heh… #2 would have been rather humorous, I think most of the regulars would have seen through #1.
    I thought about trying to do something as well on my site, but I’m terrible at coming up with practical jokes.😀

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  2. Hi Carla!
    Yeah, some form of #2 would be neat to encourage all the new registrants here who have yet to comment to comment — but when the time comes to say “surprise, there is no surprise!” as an April Fool’s joke there’s no way getting around the uncomfortable hurt you create.
    It’s interesting that “Practical Jokers” are those who choose to live April Fool’s Day all year long. Their love of the poopy cushion, the hand buzzer and the kinked garden hose that they unkink the moment you look inside the hose to see why the water isn’t flowing are the very people who have no empathy beyond their own selfish need to make fun of others. If you don’t go along with them and allow them to use you as a foil for fun you are labeled a “bad sport.” I’ve never met a prankster who was a “good sport” when the tables were turned and the laughter is on them.

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  3. Some April Fool’s jokes have been quite legendary, but mostly they’re silly like the poopy cushion. Slashdot has quite a good April Fool’s, in going all “cute” and pink for the day – for a geek news site that’s quite funny.
    It’s already too late for April Fool’s here : after midday the joke is on you. It’s well past six pm… incidentally the French call jokes today a “poisson d’avril” : an April fish. Not sure why, and sites I’ve read give various reasons based around why it would be silly to give people fish as a present on the 1st April.
    -Fruey

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  4. Hi fruey!
    Ha! The Slashdot joke is fun. It doesn’t hurt anyone. It is silly. Now that sort of “fool” makes fun of no one and that’s a fine joke in the spirit of the day.
    It’s interesting how there’s a time limit for you over there! Heh! I like that — if you’re too late you have to play the Fool. Love that!

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  5. I’m not big on these kind of jokesters, either. My brother is big on this kind of stuff and I”m always the one who gets made fun of. Not fun so much.

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  6. Hiya soos!
    I’m not big on being joked on, either. Janna’s brother is a big prankster, though, so she’s used to that kind of “treatment.” I find it unfortunate that you need to pull someone down with laughter in order to pull yourself up. That saddens me.

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  7. I do like what fruey says. There are jokes you can play that amuse people and not hurt. That’s better, I think.

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  8. I’m with you soos!
    It’s always better to bring a smile to someone’s face with laughter created from a good spot than a mean one.

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  9. My brother is good and sweet but sometimes his sense of humor goes too far. Like all of us, right? Ha!😀

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  10. Yes, right! Your bro is a terrific guy, but the “eclectic shock lighter” was a little cruel — and it wasn’t done to me and it wasn’t done on April Fool’s day, either!:mrgreen:

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  11. I know. The lighter thing was a little over the top. At least she was able to laugh afterwards.

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  12. Was she laughing or going into cardiac arrest?:mrgreen:

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  13. The best April Fool’s joke this year in my area was the rumor that spread like wildfire that Wrigley Field had been renamed after a furniture store. Harry Caray’s wife, Dutchie, joined in the fun, so people weren’t sure if it was true or not in this age of selling stadium names to the highest bidder.

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  14. Hi Chris!
    That sounds like a good April Fool’s joke! I guess the trick to it is to pick something that doesn’t hurt anyone and then make is sort of possible and fun.
    Here’s a lame online version of a joke today:
    http://wordpress.org/development/2006/04/wordpattern/
    Here’s another one even lamer:
    http://www.google.com/romance/
    I’m so glad I wrote the post I wrote today to stand against this online foolishness!😀

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  15. I sorta liked the Google romance April Fool’s joke, especially the bulk profile upload feature for sleazy users.

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  16. Hey Chris —
    Yeah, the Google bit was well-done. I guess there’s a heightened level of expectation on the day that the tricks will truly be wild and unsuspected — but in today’s current climate I suppose that’s an impossibility.

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  17. Didn’t do anything on my site…I did try to trick Erik but it didn’t work and I looked fairly stupid. Last year kind of blew up in my face…I’m not sure why I even bother with doing that kind of thing since I’m a horrible liar.

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  18. What was your failed trick this year, Robin?

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  19. I was out at a bachelorette party and had my friend call him to say I was arrested.

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  20. Ha! Now that’s funny! Were you really at a bachelorette party or was that part of the joke, too?

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  21. I really was at a bachelorette party that included strippers, alcohol, sex toy party, a mechanical bull and 2 clubs. When my friend called him it was about 2am.

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  22. Was it your party or someone else’s? So he just laughed or played along or what?

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  23. Someone else’s party, I would never do the stripper thing for mine.
    I don’t think he even laughed…I think he was woken up as it is. I think he was just like “Yeah I don’t think so.”

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  24. […] Twilight Zone effect is also a blend of April Fool’s Day along with an innate sense of Schadenfreude that attracts all amateur authors like flies to honey — because if you write a […]

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  25. […] This new Yale ban on certain campus sex is so ferociously silly that, at first, I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke. […]

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  26. […] There is a delicate line between Art and Politics that must never be crushed:  Mocking politicos for aesthetic profit.  The New York Times, for some reason, decided to publish 50 crushing images of those working for the Obama Administration and, for some reason, the Obama campaign agreed to this public humiliation of their employees.  The published images cruelly, and purposefully, make these good people look like Zombies.  Let’s call them “The Obama Undead” — with their blank faces and ghoulish eyes — and we are left to feel terrible for them because they have been manipulated and mocked for paper profit.  We know their uncomfortable skins.  Only the glassy look in their eyes, and the familiar “thousand-yard stare,” gives away the fact that, at one time, they were human, and not the joke of the day. […]

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  27. […] There is a delicate line between Art and Politics that must never be crushed:  Mocking politicos for aesthetic profit.  The New York Times, for some reason, decided to publish 50 crushing images of those working for the Obama Administration and, for some reason, the Obama campaign agreed to this public humiliation of their employees.  The published images cruelly, and purposefully, make these good people look like Zombies.  Let’s call them “The Obama Undead” — with their blank faces and ghoulish eyes — and we are left to feel terrible for them because they have been manipulated and mocked for paper profit.  We know their uncomfortable skins.  Only the glassy look in their eyes, and the familiar “thousand-yard stare,” gives away the fact that, at one time, they were human, and not the joke of the day. […]

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  28. […] or even good people, but because they are all perpetual losers who others can watch with a great Schadenfreude that, “No matter how much my life sucks, I’m not as horrible as those […]

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  29. […] quite figure out why people seem to enjoy watching the child’s deliberately delivered Schadenfreude so much, but then again, I also don’t understand the enjoyment behind pranking people, […]

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  30. […] is the wretched April Fool’s Day, but what I’m about to share with you is not a joke — but it may contain the actions of […]

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  31. […] today is a Day for Fools — but there’s no joking around that I now have a brand new Boles Book for the Playwright in Society — available for […]

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