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Holiday brings out pranksters

By Chancellor Mills
On April 2, 2010

From new, creative pranks to old favorites, playing practical jokes on friends or family is an almost essential part of April Fool's Day.

The holiday originated in 1582 when Pope George XIII ordered a new calendar to replace the Julian calendar which would move New Year's Day from April to Jan. 1. Then, for some reason, people still continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. As a result, these practitioners were mocked as traditionalists and sent on "fool's errands."

Although most do not know the historical origins of April Fool's Day, students of A&M-Commerce continue to uphold the pranking part of the holiday.

With increased integration of social networking mediums in recent years, it has become easier and easier for people to fool their friends.

"One year, I had a friend who put up on Facebook that she was pregnant," junior marketing major Rachel Payne said. "It was funny because all of her friends were freaking out."

Some pranks on April Fool's Day are considered quite innocent and harmless. Other pranks, however, can involve bringing harm to others in the name of celebration.

"A good one is to put Tabasco sauce on a padded chair," junior animal science major Wes Young said. "Then when the person sits down it will soak through their pants and burn their ass."

While some people may decide to go the route of physically harming or humiliating a person, others will sometime choose to take a more emotional tactic.

"I once told a guy that we were friends," junior environmental science major Michael Shaw said. "And then I said ‘April Fool's.'"

Some campus publications even got in on the action, running newspapers with fake headlines or fictitious stories. For instance, New York University ran a story stating that the institution would soon be holding a "Jersey Shore" conference, during which faculty would be exploring the scholarly issues surrounding the popular television show.

The pranks did not stop there, however, as the comedy website played a joke on the city of New York. The website and its staff funded a hoax to convince the people of New York City that In-N-Out Burger, a well known burger franchise on the West Coast, would soon be opening a new location in the Big Apple. The group even went as far making posters, making flyers and hiring actors to dress as employees.

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