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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poisson d'Avril!!!

So.... I apologize for my lame April Fools post.  I truly hate April Fools Day.  I'm not sure I even understand why I hate it so bad, no one has ever really pranked me to the point of trauma, but... I seriously hate the day to the point where I want to stay inside until it's over.  I do have some vague memories of this boy I used to carpool with to school when I was a kid, and I do remember him being all about April Fools jokes and I have some vague memory of being punched by him for some reason so... who knows, maybe that's a part of my problem (I apparently blocked it out so perhaps I should seek some therapy).  Either way, I hate the stupid day.

I did have a moment today where I wondered about how this whole thing got started and why.  I did some searching and learned that we can most likely thank the French for this one.  There is no definite answer as to how this stupidity began, but most things point to 16th Century France when King Charles XIV reformed the calendar and the peasants were apparently the last people to know that this change took place (and why is it that there's always some stupid King somewhere that feels the need to revise the calendar...).

I guess they used to celebrate the new year around April 1st, but the shift in calendar made that day a moot point and anyone that was celebrating the new year on April 1st was considered a fool and worthy of being made fun of. Now, the part that I don't fully understand but the part that amuses me the most is that the French would make fun of this person by calling them an April Fish (Poisson d'Avril) instead of an April Fool.  I imagine it's because fish get hooked and possibly pan fried shortly thereafter.

"Bah ha ha ha ha!  You stupid April Fish!  Today is not the new year! The calendar changed!  We all celebrated the new year three months ago!  You stupid fish!"

Years later the "celebration" of April Fish Day continues with "pranks" that consist of sticking a paper fish on someone's back.  Once the fish is discovered, the people shout: Poisson D'Avril!  And then I imagine they laugh some sort of nasal laugh that only the French can pull off.

I like this idea.  I wish I had known this yesterday.  I would've gone around sticking the above paper fish on the backs of random people and shouted "Poisson d'Avril!" every chance I got.  The fact that I'm an American in Phoenix walking around "pranking" people with a stupid paper fish and shouting things in French  makes it even better to me.  And as much as I hate April Fools Day, this little bit of information has given me a new perspective on things and I fully intend to walk around next year and point and laugh at all the April Fish that work on the 3rd floor of my office building.

Now, enjoy this precious little tid bit below.  And please, my French is really weak these days, so if you have any idea what is going on in this story, I would love to know.

Poisson d'Avril!  Viva La France!  (or... something along those lines...)

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