I mentioned something about April Fool's Day the other day to Mr. Brice and he immediately launched into a history of the origin of the holiday. He told me that the term April Fool's was coined shortly after the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar. The term referred to people still adhering to the old Julian Calendar. So if you thought April 1 was the start of the new year, then you were considered an April Fool.
"Wow," I said, obviously impressed. For those of you who don't know him, he's an enginerd, and history was never his strong subject. So I wondered how he knew that, since random Jeopardy-style triviata is usually my domain, not his.
"The Simpsons," he answered.
Ah, yes. The Simpsons. The source of much useless information. And since apparently it was Lisa Simpson who told this story, I guessed it was probably true.
I went online to see if Lisa was telling the truth and checked the Wikipedia entry for "April Fool's Day" and found the following:
Wikipedia says that the origins of the holiday are unclear, but one of the possible theories was the very one Lisa quoted, so I guess there must be something to it. Other possible theories referred to the pre-Christian celebration of May Day as the start of the spring planting season. An April Fool was one who planted prematurely.
A literary reference for April Fool's Day can be seen in one of my least favorite books of all times, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. (Ducks, because I know Rhonda will be shocked.) The "Nun's Priest's Tale" tells the story of two fools, Chanticleer and the fox, taking place on March 32.
Anyway, enough of my ramble. Yesterday was April Fool's Day. I didn't get caught by any pranks, but a big part of me wishes that the series finale of one of my favorite shows, Life on Mars, was all an elaborate prank. Man, was that bad.
There I was, bummed out that the show had been canceled, but happy that they were at least doing a proper series finale, and tying up all loose ends. So I was cruising along, learning the resolution, and particularly happy about how they were seemingly ending the romance plot.
Until the last 5 minutes. OMG! Worst.five.minutes.ever.
Seriously, people, it was bad. Horrifically bad. They took what was one of THE coolest shows on TV and used one of oldest and cheapest tricks in the book.