Friday, April 1, 2022

"Happy" April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day in Odessa, Ukraine in happier times


I thought long and hard about doing an April Fools' prank post, but decided against it. I decided instead to do a post about this most hated of all "holidays." It's tough to even call it a holiday - no food, no gifts, no celebrating - just tricks and pranks that very few enjoy. 

Did you know that there is no agreement on the apostrophe? Some folks argue for Fool's, others for Fools', while some opt for Fools. Maybe since this is Chinoiserie Chic I should call it April Foo's Day. 

There is also absolutely no agreement on the origin of pranks on this day. There are theories connected to ancient Rome, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Chaucer, the Gregorian calendar, even the Bible and Noah's Arc. It clearly dates back many hundreds of years. People have been predicting its demise for centuries.

Studies show that most people hate the day, yet it persists. 

One of my favorite pranks - In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees. People were calling garden centers wanting to purchase the spaghetti plants.

But most pranks are not clever - many are stupid, obnoxious, lame, embarrassing, humiliating, even cruel. And they seem ill suited to today's crazy world. It also reminds me of clowns that any normal person is scared of - LOL. And after two awful years of the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, most people's sense of humor has worn thin. Things don't seem very funny.

During the pandemic, Google canceled its annual prank in 2020 and 2021. Many brands are learning that it is just not good for business. People do not like to be tricked or made fools of. I did an innocent April Fools' Day post many years ago that I was switching my blog from chinoiserie to the Restoration Hardware beige reclaimed wood look that was popular at the time and some followers totally freaked out. One follower emailed me that she had been sobbing all day and had to call her therapist for an emergency session. She was serious. 

So I thought instead of a prank I would pivot. Have I ever shared that in NOVA I was a complete and total piano bar/open mic junkie? I grew up in a very musical family. My grandfather played the bass violin for the Chicago Symphony and my Mom had his baby grand in our home and played every day. I know the lyrics by heart to literally thousands of songs. So I thought it would be fun to share my favorite songs with "fool" in the title. There are actually tons of songs to choose from.

And please comment if you have a song to add. Click to listen to my picks. My favorite is - 

 "What Kind of Fool Am I?" - Anthony Newley from Stop The World I Want to Get Off.

Other favorite Fool Songs.

"A Day in the Life of a Fool" - Frank Sinatra from My Way album

"Fools Rush In" - Johnny Hartman from Unforgettable album

"Kissing a Fool" - George Michael

April Fools' Day seems especially irrelevant these days with the world in such chaos. I did learn that in Odessa in Ukraine, today would normally be Humorina, an annual festival of humor held in Odessa, Ukraine, on and around the April Fools' Day since 1973. The festival is marked by a large parade in the city center, performances by musicians, comedians, clowns and a large number of fun-dressed people on the streets. April Fools' Days' pranks are also spread by people and local mass media. 

I have been to Odessa and it is a beautiful city and the cultural center of Ukraine. May the people and history of Odessa and its 200 year old Opera House survive this insanity.

If anyone is looking for a way to help the people of Ukraine, a favorite of mine is José Andrés World Central Kitchen whose mission is to provide meals to hungry people wherever there is a crisis. Click here to read more. They have provided tens of millions of meals the world over and were on the ground within hours of the invasion inside Ukraine and border countries feeding the refugees. 



 


21 comments:

  1. How well I remember that RH post. It’s the first thing that has come to mind ever since on April 1. April Fools’ is such an insipid concept. And, you are so right-after the suffering of Covid and Ukraine, who needs it? Much better to celebrate beauty, elegance and intelligence!

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  2. This is such a great post. I too can't stand April Fools' Day. I find it stupid and annoying. I love your song choices - your taste in music is as sophisticated as your taste in fashion and interior design. A true Renaissance woman.

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  3. To paraphrase an old favorite, There's a Fool Born Every Minute--you hardly need a special day to bring them out. Your follower who was sobbing all day and had to go see a therapist because she fell for your quite amusing, innocent prank makes me wonder what she would do if she found herself in Ukraine at the moment.

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  4. i love" I'm a fool to love you". Beautiful rendition by Linda Ronstadt on her American Songbook album.

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  5. Fool on the Hill—McCartney/Beatles
    —Shanna

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  6. April Foo Day. I really like that. I can't stand this insipid no holiday holiday

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  7. Zepplin "Fool In The Rain", Def Leppard "Foolin", Who "Won't Get Fooled Again", and one of my favorite songs ever Stones "Fool To Cry"

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    1. Thanks for the reminder. I'll be listening to your suggestions today. Totally forgot "Fool To Cry"

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    2. All great picks. "Fool to Cry" is such a great Stones song and most people do not know it.

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  8. Every Time Two Fools Collide.

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    1. Dottie West and Kenny Rogers - gorgeous duet. "And who picks up the pieces?"

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  9. "What a Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers has to get a mention.

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  10. In France, they call you a Poisson d'Avril" or an April Fish - no one I've ever known could tell me the origin.

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    1. French children stick paper fish on the backs of people and run away yelling that.

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