April Fool’s Day: Embrace practical jokes

Royal Purple Staff Opinion

April 1, 2015

Among hilarious cat videos and relatable rants on YouTube, a popular video subject viewers love to watch is pranking in all of its glorious forms.

As a society, we love pranks so much that there’s even a specific day for it: April Fool’s Day. As much as some may love pranking, however, there are many that equally despise it. Pranking is generally hilarious – that is, until it’s happening to us personally. That is when some people are faced with a challenge: embrace the fact that you’ve been pranked, and it would have been hilarious if someone else was in your shoes, or get upset because of a little poke to your ego and pride.

As frustrating as it may be to feel like the punch-line to a joke, people should relax and enjoy pranking rather than being angry or uptight about it. After all, it’s just a bit of fun.

From a prank phone call to Rickrolling to a pie in the face, there are pranks for all ages and all media. Like telling a joke, it’s important to know the receiver and what would be appropriate and inappropriate for them specifically.

This article by no means condones violent or harmful pranks, nor ones that could cause emotional distress. The point of practical jokes is just that – to be a joke. This world can always use more laughter and humor, and if you embrace pranking rather than get offended, it can bring a moment of happiness to many rather than guilt and awkwardness.

There are many different theories on the origins of April Fool’s Day, most of them revolving around changing the start of the calendar year from late March to January around the 1500s, according to hoaxes.org.

Regardless of the origins, history is no stranger to practical jokes, and it’s only grown more common in modern society.

Pranking is ubiquitous. From Bart Simpson calling Moe’s Tavern with some ridiculously hilarious fake names on “The Simpsons” to Ashton Kutcher walking from behind a corner to hug some flustered celebrity on “Punk’d,” practical jokes are a common activity we experience on TV, the Internet, in person and basically anywhere you can imagine.

There are also thousands of ways to prank someone. You can purchase various gag items in stores, like whoopee cushions and fake dog poo, or – thanks to modern technology – you can do something as simple and fast as download a “prank-your-friends” app. You can send a fake website link, or you can hide behind the door and text your friend to “come look at this cool thing quick” and leap out. The possibilities are endless.

The beautiful thing about pranking is not just the laughter, but the creativity. Pranks can be small and simple, or complex and ongoing. It could be a last-second plan or a long-term build-up. Either way, the intention is not to be mean but rather to have fun with one another.

The only way to ruin a prank is to have a poor attitude. Some people, when pranked, can become aggressive, angry, frustrated and just plain mean. This kind of reaction creates a negative environment that no one wants to be in. It’s nearly the equivalent of your anti-romance friends on Valentine’s Day or the Grinch-like people during Christmas.

Whether or not you are crazy about those holidays or not, those are generally not fun people to be around. Though being cynical, sarcastic and perpetually irritated can be amusing in small doses, it can also be fun-sucking and emotionally draining for the others around you.

So this April Fool’s Day, remember to laugh and enjoy the little things rather than become excessively irritated for something so small. Pranking brings laughter, laughter brings happiness and happiness helps us all get through life a bit easier. Have a positive outlook, and most of all, have a happy April Fool’s Day.

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