Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fire! Just Kidding.

Was there ever a less necessary day than April Fool's Day? I think life is absurd enough without having fake poop be the hallmark for an entire day of the year.

For those as clumsy as myself, calling any day "Fool's Day" seems redundant. I suppose there's a small comfort that on the first of April one could play off their own foolishness with an interjection of, "April Fools!" but that's such a tiny variation of what is said every other day. Nine times out of ten something I say or do is followed by silence so I find that I'm forever attaching "Just kidding" as a footnote, to sort of spackle over the awkwardness. Even when I'm serious I'll usually say just kidding, just in case. But April Fool's has never been about getting out of socially awkward situations. It's about stepping in them. It's about having them pushed in your face. It's about falling on them, smelling them, tasting them, having them squirted at you, or wearing them on your back for a few hours as people kick you. But at some point a rubber chicken might be involved, so all's forgiven. (If someone can explain to me how/why a rubber chicken is funny, I'd be very grateful.) ,

I've always been too lazy to get into practical jokes. As the name suggests, it's the doing of something, the "practice" of a joke, and who are we kidding? I never practiced my saxophone, why would I spend a few hours saran-wrapping the toilet? Clever word play takes almost no time and you can stay seated, so I stick to those types of jokes. But I am somewhat interested in the psychology surrounding the practical joke. It's the quickly changing series of emotions that you'd be hardpressed to find anywhere else. Trust, confusion, surprise, anger, embarrassment, all followed immediately by the desire to do it to somebody else. What is that? People watch an unsuspecting person fall into the traps of the practical they've just fallen for and laugh, forgetting that a few minutes ago, they were that guy. I guess we all just want to feel equally stupid.

You know that in this clip the same thing had just happened to all the people involved, and they decided to stick around to see how others would react.