The Traditional ‘Drive Safely’ Holiday Disclaimer

Perhaps April Fools’ Day isn’t quite what you’d call a holiday. There are theories as to its origin, but we don’t highlight this day because of its specific religious or historical significance. As far as it seems, Hallmark doesn’t really profit off this 24-hour romp of silliness. And this certainly is not a day of gift-giving, unless you consider the painful grimaces on those you’ve fooled to be a small gift to yourself.

But, like the plethora of national holidays that come with drunk driving warnings, April Fools’ Day requires an advisory all its own.

For instance, Darren Rowse reported that his website, ProBlogger, had been acquired by Google. Having tweeted the press release title, many simply believed their eyes and began retweeting a piece they neglected to read first. Creating quite a buzz, Rowse spent the remainder of his day (he resides in Australia so the day of trickery has come and gone by now) confirming it was indeed a hoax, and even fielding a congratulatory phone call and a press inquiry from a reporter wishing to write a piece on the acquisition.

While Mr. Rowse did have to engage in a bit of damage control in order to save his gullible followers from certain confusion, the likelihood that this prank will come back to bite him is slim. In fact, he wishes his joke would actually become a reality. (So let’s just keep all our fingers crossed and endure the awkward hunt and peck method until bloggers finally get the respect they deserve.) The confusion and backlash were minimal, making it an ideal example to warn pranksters about how quickly a tiny joke can spiral out of control.

However, not all jokes and pranks have such a happy ending of sorts. Some pranks, like Mr. Rowse’s, only cause momentary buzz, but cool down rather quickly, having minimal (if any) negative effects on the future. Then there are the jokes that should simply never be joked about in the first place. When trying to conjure up a last-minute joke today, avoid these mistakes and commonplace last resorts so you don’t end up biting your tongue later on. Karma is always bound to come back around, so don’t bite it before it bites you.

Accident, Illness or Death – Whatever you do, NEVER joke about someone’s life or health. Whether you’re attributing the ailment to yourself or someone else, the person on the receiving end of your “joke” just may take you seriously because it is in poor taste to ever tease about such a thing. So why would they ever think you’re lying? And the last thing you want to do is make up some unfathomable story and find it to be true later on down the road. Chances are you’d then feel a sense of guilt, as if the universe is trying to pay you back.

‘I Want You Back’ – Perhaps it’s better if we just keep that phrase in the past along with the *NSYNC song of the same name. If your goal is to break the heart of someone you once claimed to love, then toying with their feelings a little more should do the trick when you confess your never-ending love, beg for another chance with them, then let out a loud, “APRIL FOOLS’!” Don’t proclaim you want them back unless you genuinely mean it. Then, if it’s not a joke, wait until tomorrow to make this declaration so they BELIEVE you. It’s a day for jokes and humor, not emotionally beating someone to a pulp.

A Day to Crack Break People Up – Let’s say you have a significant other. You two have been together for a while, there have been bumps in the road, but overall you are quite happy and hope things continue to progress. Oh, wait. Does that calendar say it’s April 1? It does! So, because of your inability to brainstorm a witty prank at the drop of a hat, you succumb to a common fallback prank: You pretend you want to break up. Whichever way this joke plays out, you’re ultimately doomed. Either your significant other will be crushed, brought to tears and then inevitably hate you when they find out it’s all a joke, or they will admit they’ve been secretly considering breaking up with you and be glad that the feeling is mutual. If you’re lucky, they’ll be joking right back, but what if they aren’t? No need to instigate a lose-lose situation that could easily be prevented.

How… Romantic? – Great relationships are based on trust. So, when you decide to tell your significant other that you love them for the first time, perhaps April 1 isn’t the best day to do so. Most will realize the date, whether they’ve been planning their own shenanigans or have just been reminded of the occasion throughout the day, so anyone who hears those three little words for the first time on such a day is going to be a little wary of their actual meaning. Sure, you may genuinely mean what you’re saying, but there’s no guarantee and may leave them questioning your words for the forseeable future.

Prankster, with Child – Ladies, unless you have had a hysterectomy or have gone through menopause and know this can only ever be a joke, DO NOT pretend you are pregnant! Just because it may be a joke at the current moment doesn’t mean it won’t come true next month or the month after. Joke about such things and the universe just may make it a reality because we all know Karma likes to have the last laugh.

Many pranks succeed, but so many fail miserably. Share your accomplishments and horror stories below!

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