The April Fool Archive:
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April Fool's Day, 1900
Mouse in Egg Prank Goes Bad. (1900) Edith Walrach, a nineteen-year-old woman of a "very nervous temperament" was in serious condition as a result of an April Fool's Day joke that went bad. While visiting friends in Binghampton, New York, a practical joker "procured a small live mouse, which he put in an egg-shell, covering the opening with plaster of Paris. This was brought in with the breakfast and when Miss Walrach broke the shell and the liberated mouse jumped out she screamed and fainted away. During the day she had three nervous fits, and her physician pronounced her condition critical." The young man was wild with grief. He was her fiancee. [Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel, Apr 3, 1900] More…
Echinocereus dahliaeflorus. (1900) A German garden journal, Möllers Deutsche Gärtner Zeitung (15:148), printed details about a fictitious species of cactus, Echinocereus dahliaeflorus, in its April edition. The editor of the journal apparently forgot his own joke because he indexed the cactus name at the end of the year. [The Cactaceae] More…
April Fool’s Day (a poem). (1900)
Talk about yer Chris'masses
Fourth o' Julys and cirkusses—
They ain't in it for the real fun
That's to be had on April one;
Even Hallowe'en is very tame
To April first—that is 'f yer game.
I think that April first must be
Ind'pendence Day fer kids like me,
When we kin play all sorts of jokes
And not be punished by our folks—
Though pa, he says, in a threat'nin' way:
"Bill, no nonsense from you today!"
When Jim's pants legs are found sewed up;
When ma of coffee takes a sup
And finds the sugar tastes like salt—
I say, quite inn'cent, "Taint my fault."
They frown and say, half-scold, half-laugh,
"This here is some of Willie's chaff."
The teacher has her troubles too
(You know what mischeevous boys can do).
But when I hollered "April Fool!"
She kept me in long after school.
I didn't care much for I knew
She wasn't game—like me or you.
Say, you look as though you might
Know how a boy 'd feel at night,
As though a big day's work was done,
And how h'd fooled 'em all—'cept one—
For pa, he'd said to me, one side,
"Don't ye fool Me, 'r I'll tan yer hide!"
— Will E. Cowles. More…
The Horrid April Fool. (1900)
And now the cheerful idiot marches promptly to the front,
To blight his race and curse the age, as ever is his wont,
In harmless little "practicals," which mark the dismal way,
And though he spoil one's life he claims "'twas only done in play."
The first, though not the greatest fool, is he who seeks to air
And advertise his lunacy by jerking back one's chair,
Just as one's "brakes" are taken off, from ankle up to neck,
When, in the place of sitting down, one strikes the floor — a wreck. More…