The April Fool's Day "Brick in a Hat" Prank
In which a prankster hides a brick beneath a hat on the street, and then waits for a victim to kick the hat
The Brick in the Hat Trick.
"Did anybody ever see one pass by an old hat on the sidewalk, without giving it a kick? We do not believe such a thing ever happened." [Albany Register, Jun 10, 1854]
"This is 'all fools' day,' and judging by the number of people who are passing along the sidewalk with strings and rags dangling from their coat tails, the custom of making people appear ridiculous is not obsolete. What delight the youngsters take in covering a few bricks with an old hat, and leaving it temptingly upon the sidewalk, while they withdraw into some nook to watch the bait and halloo at the person who is thoughtless enough to kick it."
The Brick in a Hat—a perennial favorite.
"It is strange that there has been little or no improvement in the jokes of April first. Reliable authorities assert that the old gentlemen of colonial days were made victims of hat hidden bricks just as old gentlemen are today and that the small boy has been invariably the culprit in all the ages." [Lemars Globe — Apr 1, 1896]
De Ole Hat Trick.
McGee — "Here's de ole hat trick again. I'll kick it to please the boys."
The Plumber — "Holy Smoke! Police! Fire!!!"
Do Not Kick!.
A prankster placed a hat on Philadelphia's Girard Avenue. On the front of the hat he pinned a note that read, "Do not kick. Brick inside." Raymond Perrott, a University of Pennsylvania student, saw the hat while walking along with a friend. Reportedly, he said to his companion, "Huh, that's a joke within a joke; watch me wallop that hat." He gave the hat a strong kick, then fell to the ground, crying out in pain. The hat flew away, revealing a brick. Perrott was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with a broken right toe. [Trenton Evening Times, Apr 2, 1915.]
I April Fooled Him Twice.
April Fool ad for Ten High Straight Bourbon Whiskey [Life - Mar 27, 1939]:
"You should have seen his face! 'Gosh, Joe,' he says, 'I sure fell for that one.' He takes it like a man though; so I buy him a drink. 'I want to Double My Enjoyment of this,' I tell the bartender, slipping him a wink. He's wise, and sets us up a couple of drinks of that swell whiskey with No Rough Edges..."
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.