Are You an April Fool?

Spagetti Tree Creative Commons by Robert Couse-Baker

April Fool Pranks

They are not just for schoolkids. Here are some that were played by large companies:

Spaghetti Tree:

In 1957, the BBC published a report of farmers in Switzerland experiencing a record crop of spaghetti. Amazed spectators watched as the farmers harvested noodles from trees. Eager pasta-lovers phoned the radio station to find out where they could get these trees.

Liberty Bell:

In 1996, the fast-food restaurant chain, Taco Bell, announced it was going to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. Thousands of worried citizens phoned to confirm this shocking news.

Image courtesy of joephotostudio at

Left-Handed Whopper

In 1998, the Burger King promoted their latest “Left-Handed Whopper,” where all the condiments and the bun were rotated in the opposite direction, especially for the lefties of the community. Queues of customers rushed to buy this special burger.

Glorious Technicolor:

In 1962, Sweden’s Sveriges Television announced to viewers that they could switch their black-and-white TV to color. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their screen. The company explained how the nylon mesh would bend the light in such a way that the image would appear to be in color – and this in a country which had no colored TV.

Where Am I?

Perhaps the best story of all occurred in 1992, when the Los Angeles airport executives created a gigantic yellow banner on the ground that announced in 20-foot high red text, “Welcome to Chicago”. Commuters flying into the L.A. airport and looking out the window must have been thrown into a panic and wondered how they had arrived at the wrong airport.

What do all these stories have in common? They all occurred on April 1st! They were all “April Fool” jokes.

Who’s the Fool?

So where did this crazy idea come from? Believe it or not, one of the theories attributes the tradition to Pope Gregory X111 who, in 1582, replaced the old Julian Calendar with the Gregorian Calendar. So New Year’s Day shifted from April 1st to January 1st. Many people refused to accept this, while others didn’t know in time and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st. They were called April Fools, and often sent on fictitious tasks to emphasize their foolishness.

There are other theories of course, but the general teaching is if you fall for the prank before midday, you are an “April Fool”! But if it is after midday, the prankster becomes the “April Fool”.

Although the history of April Fool’s Day goes back many centuries, there is nothing new about people being called fools. There are many verses in Scripture which can help to guide us in our daily walk. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them and perhaps pass on one or two to your friends on Twitter.

The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. Psalms 14:1 Click To Tweet The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 Click To Tweet A fool utters all his mind: but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:11 Click To Tweet

There are more . . . but these should get us thinking.

In closing, what is the best April Fool’s joke you have participated in or heard of? Share it briefly below in the comment section. Do you think April Fool’s day is a fun day, or is it overrated?

6 comments on “Are You an April Fool?

  1. My daughter was just sharing with me about her Latin class she learned about the change in the calendar, so I had to read it to here. Very interesting!!

Comments are closed.