April 1st in the UK only means one thing: April Fool’s jokes!
What is April Fool’s Day?
The day every year (on April 1st) when people in lots of countries around the world play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. When you do a successful April Fool’s Joke, you can shout (or these days, write on Facebook) “April Fool”!! The jokes MUST be played BEFORE midday. If you try to do a joke AFTER 12pm, then the joke is on YOU.
What is an April Fool’s Joke?
When you ‘fool’ or trick people into believing that something is true… which is not.
Words that mean ‘joke’
Jape, trick, pun, prank, spoof, punch-line, gag, lark, hoax, ruse
April Fool’s jokes in the UK
The UK media is, as usual, full of japes trying to fool the public with their clever tricks. Britain’s biggest tabloid, The Sun ran a story about gorillas using iPads in one of Britain’s zoos. The story came with the customary headline pun: ‘Planet of the Apps’. This is, of course, a play on words inserting ‘Apps’ (the abbreviation for ‘Software Applications’ that are popular on Apple products) into the film title ‘Planet of the Apes’ (a very famous movie involving apes: gorrillas, chimpanzees and orangutans). The story claimed that the apes were given the Ipads to prevent them from becoming bored. Another ‘red-top’ newspaper, The Mirror, joined in the April fool’s fun, by running a prank story about new government plans to tax the air in Britain. People living in rural areas would have to pay the most tax for their fresh air, but residents in polluted cities like Manchester, Birmingham and London would pay less, due to the inferior air quality. If you are coming to summer school at SGI this year and you travel on the tube, you will get used to the sight of hundreds of free newspapers being left as litter on the trains. The Metro newspaper is given out free every morning to London commuters and they all generally leave them behind after reading it. So, The Metro itself ran a spoof story that in future the print edition of the newspaper would be edible. It came with the punch-line that “The Metro will now be even easier to digest”. This is a gag relating to the process of digesting your food in the stomach and the use of ‘to digest’ meaning ‘to understand some new information by thinking about it for a period of time’. In the quality press, The Independent had an outrageous story that Spain had bought the footballer, Ronaldo from Portugal for €160 million. The story was that Portugal had agreed on the deal to help with their national debt crisis. IKEA joined in the fun by having a lark with a hoax product: The Hundstol – a chair for dogs to use at meal time. It’s a shame that it’s a fake product, because I could do with one of these for my new dog, Sir Bentley! But actually, I think the best April Fool’s trick was played by ME!!! I sent out an email to my friends and put a post on Facebook about the news of me becoming a proud father in September. I attached a picture that I got from Google images of a baby scan. Everybody fell for it. I had 78 emails of congratulations. Only two people saw through the ruse and knew that I am not ready to be a daddy yet!