April Fools’ Day is believed to have been celebrated since about 1582 and thought to have originated in France when the country switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian. People who failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1st and continued to celebrate the holiday during the last week of March through April first became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. Today April Fools’ Day is characterized by people playing silly jokes or pranks on each other, and when the prank is discovered, the perpetrator yells out “April Fools.”
In Despicable Lies, Darcy and Danielle, the beautiful and resourceful identical twin heroines of the story, don’t celebrate April Fools’ Day, but they pull pranks all the time. Throughout their lives they frequently switch places, take exams for each other, substitute for each other on school teams and attend classes for one another. As the twins grow older, they continue this practice, undetected, and the switches become central to the theme of the novel.
In doing research, I came across a very funny April Fool’s Day prank that I hope you will enjoy.
One of the most famous pranks is the BBC’s “Spaghetti harvest” segment. On April 1, 1957, a news broadcaster told his British audience that a Swiss region near the Italian border had had an exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop that year. Then he showed footage of people proudly picking spaghetti off the trees and bushes and then sitting down at a table to eat a delicious “home grown” spaghetti meal.
Some viewers of the program immediately realized that the segment was a hoax and were upset that a fictional piece was included in a serious news broadcast, but others demanded to know how they could grow their own spaghetti at home.
Happy Aprils’ Fool Day.
Until my next inspiration…ciao.