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Goober’s Words of Wisdom: April Fools

Goober was asked by the editor of the paper that I work for if he would write a special column for April Fool’s Day.  You can find the paper’s website here.  Goober’s article is presented below.

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Hello everybodies.

Mr. Chuck, the nice man who owns this paper, is letting me write a column since he is leaving for South Dakota for a few days. Because today is the first day of April, I thought I would tell you about some nice things to do for your friends today.

You can tape magnets to the bottom of an empty coffee cup, and attach it to the top of your car. Laugh at all the people who frantically try to get your attention as you drive by.

Set your friend’s alarm clock for the middle of the night and hide it somewhere in the room where they will have to get up and scramble around to turn it off. (This works even better if you sneak in after they go to sleep and unscrew the light bulb in their lamp. Then they’ll have to search for the clock in the dark!)

If your friend still has a phone with a hook that presses down when the handset is in the cradle, tape it down. When he or she answers a call it will keep ringing.

Take about 20 (or more) paper or plastic cups, place them on your friend’s desk and fill them with water. Then take a stapler and staple them all together. You can also put the cups on the floor blocking their door, or just about anywhere.

Leave a phone message for the victim that says that a “Mr. Lyon” called (or Mr. Behr also works), and wants to be called back. Then list the phone number of a local zoo.

You could take all of your friend’s paperclips and string them together in one chain.

Did your friend have a major project due today? Did they leave it out where you can find it? Just take some paper that looks somewhat similar to their project. Set their real project aside, and spill a drink or something messy all over the fake project.

Or you could…

What Mr. Chuck? You want me to do what? But nobody’s will want to read about that, History is boring. * sigh *

Mr. Chuck is making me tell you about the history of April Fool’s Day.

April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under King Charles Ix. I don’t know why King Ix changed the calendar but he did. He moved New Year’s Day from March 25 – April 1 (new year’s week? Why did it take them a week to celebrate New Year’s Day? Maybe that’s why he changed it). to January 1. Mainly because he wanted New York people to freeze outside while they watched that big ball drop.

Not everyone knew about this new calendar right away. Communication traveled slowly back then because the Internet had not been invented yet. Some peoples were only informed of the change several years later. Other people who knew about the change but didn’t like the government telling them what to do, were more rebellious and refused to acknowledge the change. They continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring on April 1.

All of these peoples who celebrated New Year’s in April were called “fools” by everybody who celebrated the New Year in January by freezing. The peoples who celebrated in the spring were made fun of and sent on “fool errands” and had other practical jokes played on them.

This changed over time and a custom of prank-playing continued on the first day of April even after everybody started to celebrate the new year by freezing in January. This tradition eventually spread to places like to England and Scotland in the 18th century and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. Because America is a big country and peoples all over the world like to do what Americans do (they don’t like it when we tell them what to do) April Fool’s Day has become a world wide holiday. Each country celebrates the holiday in its own way because they want to be different.

In Scotland, for instance, April Fool’s Day is devoted to pranks involving your bottom end and as such is called Taily Day. The butts (no pun intended) of these jokes are known as April ‘Gowk’, another name for cuckoo bird. Does that mean the “Kick Me” sign can be traced back to the Scottish observance?

In England, jokes are played only in the morning. I don’t know why people play jokes in the morning. I think you’d be better to stay up late and play jokes on the peoples still in bed. Anyway England ‘fools’ are called ‘gobs’ or ‘gobby’ and the victim of a joke is called a ‘noodle.’ It was considered bad luck to play a practical joke on someone after noon. The best way to avoid being an April Fool in England is to sleep late.

In Rome, April Fool’s Day is called the Festival of Hilaria and takes place on March 25. Why the Romans have April Fool’s Day in March is something I don’t know. It celebrates the resurrection of the god Attis, and is also referred to as “Roman Laughing Day.”

In Portugal, April Fool’s Day falls on the Sunday and Monday before lent. In this celebration, many people throw flour at their friends. That’s not a very creative joke. I can think better things to throw at your friends. Flour just gets in your hair.

So, no matter where you happen to be in the world on April 1, don’t be surprised if April fools fall playfully upon you.

Goober

(Editor’s Note: Steve Nibbelink, our ad designer, is also the leader of One Way Express, a local puppet troupe from Holland, Iowa. His alter-ego, Goober the Puppet, has entertained folks in the tri-county area since 2005).

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April 1, 2010 Posted by | Goober's Place (One Way Express) | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

April Fool’s Day pranks as plot hooks

sliced-organge-frogAs I am sure that the internet will be chock full of pranks, fake websites, and other hilarity today.  And since I am not witty enough to come up with a completely fake website, instead I offer these April Fools Day jokes as plot hooks.  Mind you these plot hooks are only what popped into my head thinking about how I’d use these in any game I ran.

  • Get up really early and sneak into your victims bathroom and fill their hair-dryer with baby powder. And when they turn it on, their head will be pure white just like an old person!

  • Without explanation your PCs suddenly find themselves older and feebler.  Is it an enchanment, time warp, vengeful wizard?

  • Before one of your family members takes shower, remove the shower head and place a life-saver candy in it, replace the shower head with the candy now trapped in it. When the person takes a shower he or she will not notice, until they get out and start to dry off the towel will stick to them they will get back in the shower to rinse off… works like a charm.

  • Your PCs have angered the gods and each begin attracting a different item based on the last element thaty came in contact with.  Depending on the severity of the attraction, the items may even be pulled off of shelves, out of homes.

  • Find a box about the size of a cake. Then cover it with frosting, making it look like a cake. Then put it out in the office kitchen, or wherever people leave free food. Sit back as one of your co-workers tries to cut a slice.

  • The dragon/guardian isn’t real.  It looks real enough.  It sounds real enough but the only way the PCs are going to know it isn’t real is to actually go up and try to physically touch it

  • This ones for all you pet owners! First, put a walky talky some wear near the area of where your pet is laying. Go into another room with the other walky talky. Then, when your brother/sister goes to pet your furry friend, say something like…”Hey Pal! Get your grimy hands off me!” They’ll get a kick outta this one!!!

  •  The treasure talks.  Not only does it talk but it announces deep dark secrets of whoever attempts to pick it up.

  • Get a small alarm clock and set it for 3:00 a.m. Sneak under the victim’s bed. Once it goes off, he/she won’t be able to find it will drive them nuts. 

  • The PCs inherit/pick up/find a new item along the lines of the Warner Bros. frog, however it only works for the party.  Any attempts by the party to show off this new treasure will only cause them to look stupid.

  • Switch the “Pull” and “Push” signs on a set of doors. Watch as people get confused trying to open the doors. (Don’t do this on fire escapes)

  • The exit to the current room is not the door they just entered.  That door is in fact a broom closet.  Only by taking the door off the wall and positioning it on another wall will the PCs be able to leave.

  • You will need a funnel, a coin, a couple of friends and, of course, a victim! Start playing the ‘funnel game’ infront of your victim. A game of skill that involves putting the funnel down the front of your pants and balancing the coin on your nose with your head tilted back. Tip your head forward to let the coin drop into the funnel. When you have the victim begging to do this put the funnel in his pants and get him to put his head back so you can balance the coin on his nose. As this is happening pour a large drink into the funnel! 

  • The obvious path is not the safe one.  The hidden path is not the safe one.  The one that actually looks dangerous is the one to take and then only if the PCs successfully complete some arcane task.

  • Stick a post-it note under your friend’s mouse so that the paper leaf covers the mouse ball – the mouse will no longer work! Align so that the sticky part of the note doesn’t touch the ball. Costs next to nothing to do, and doesn’t cause any damage.

  • Attacks, seemingly do no damage during this encounter.  The opposing wizard has cast a spell that makes all attacks seem as if they are doing no damage.  The PCs are actually causing damage and but only until the actually defeat the wizard will the damage begin to show. 

  • Grab a bottle of liquid soap and head toward the “victims” bedroom. Squirt some of the soap onto your hand and rub all over the doorknob of his/her room. Run away before he or she sees you in the process of doing this prank.

  • The activation for the door is covered by the messiest, slimiest goop you can dream of.  Only by sticking their hands in the slime will the PCs discover the button/handle/lever 

  • Glue eggs to the carton and beg for eggs in the morning. When the victim gets them the eggs break! 

  • The treasure is very fragile.  If handle incorrectly it breaks and is worthless.  Just picking it up would be considered incorrect handling.

  • When your victim’s asleep sneak into their room and draw eyebrows and a moustache on their face, make sure to be their when they look in the mirror.

  • A twist on this.  The PCs suddenly find that they don’t know how to use their weapons and skills but rather they know how to use the weapons and skills of the player to their immediate left.  I wouldn’t make the threat level too high in this room as it might take the PCs a few rounds to figure out what’s what.

     There you go some very fine pranks to pull un your unsuspecting victims today and some stuff to pull on your unsuspecting PCs in the next game.

    April 1, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, RPG | , , | 2 Comments