If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools Day

I’m not a big fan of practical jokes. Like ribald humor, practical jokes tend to be base and coarse. Okay, maybe some are cute, but for the most part, I’m not enamored of people making fun of each other or making others look foolish. I like and favor optimization, in which the outcome of a situation increases the fortune of everyone. Practical jokes remind me too much of putting someone down to make the originator look good. I immediately discount the originator and sympathize with the victim. April Fools Day and its jokes make me roll my eyes and yawn. Why do we celebrate such a day?

Internet research cites the origins of April Fools Day in two events. The first occurring in 1582 when the Gregorian calendar was adopted changing the new year from April first to January first. It also took into account the solar cycle making the year 365 days and adding leap year every four years to account for those fractional days in the cycle, but that’s an aside. There were those who chose not to change with the times and adopt the Gregorian calendar. They still celebrated the new year on April first, and as a result, people made fun of them. But this theory is discounted because a day much in the spirit of April Fools Day seems to have been celebrated before this date.

The Hindus and the Romans celebrated a day of general merrymaking around the same time centuries earlier. During Constantine’s reign, court jesters were allowed to rule the empire for one day to prove if they could run the empire better. Jesters were the comedians of their day. But comedians, like today, tend to be very smart people who understand fundamental truths about our society and find ways to make people laugh while pointing out underlying flaws or controversies. The term “jest” not only includes joke making, but also includes editorial comment in its definition. So, although letting the jesters run the empire was a joke, there was a more serious side to this merrymaking.

Common April Fools jokes today, include:

·      Taking the bottom out of cereal boxes, then pouring the cereal back into the box while it sits on the shelf so the next one who grabs the box suffers the unfortunate gravitational effects
·      Putting push pin holes in water bottle so that when the drinker puts pressure on the bottle by picking it up, they get showered
·      Placing cups of water or confetti on top of a doorway for dumping on the next person to open the door 
·      Putting a dry piece of spaghetti in a tube of toothpaste a few days before April Fools Day to allow it to expand. The person using the tube will get some toothpaste with an inner core of spaghetti in their mouth after the spaghetti absorbs liquid from the toothpaste and expands.

The media has contributed to April Fools Day. In 1957, the BBC put out a news story about Sweden’s bumper spaghetti harvest and included pictures of spaghetti hanging from trees. Some people called the station to ask how they could grow their own. In 1996, Taco Bell announced that it was buying the Liberty Bell and would rename it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” That same year, rumor on the Internet asked everyone to shut down their computers and get off the Internet for International Internet Cleaning Day. In 1998, the left-handed Whopper was invented by Burger King so that dripping would fall to the right for those in the left-handed minority.

Do you like April Fools Day? Have you ever played an April Fools Day joke on someone? Have you ever been the recipient of an April Fools joke?


James Montgomery Jackson said...

Most April Fools’ jokes leave me cold – but I was never a slapstick fan.

As kids my mother would always do something to celebrate the day and we would pay her back in kind, pinning her washcloth to the railing or some such.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I really wasn't sure as to the day's origin, so it was interesting research. I never liked April Fools jokes either, Jim. No my sort of humor at all.

Gloria Alden said...

I feel the same way, E.B. and Jim. When I was teaching third grade, the students always tried April Fool's Day jokes by telling me something like I had a spider on my shoulder, but nothing unkind and cruel. I'll have to admit, I did the same thing like announcing at the beginning of the day there would be no recess that day or lunch was to be fried worms. They'd always laugh and say "April Fools!" So you can imagine why I consider April Fool's Day jokes very immature and only really funny for kids. Of course, some people never grow up, do they.

Paula Gail Benson said...

One April Fools joke I remember was an accidental one. My mother and I were visiting her family home. She was having breakfast with my uncle. When she picked up her glasses to read the paper, all the writing was blurry. My uncle laughed and said, "April Fools." She had picked up his glasses by mistake.

LD Masterson said...

Where were those good ideas before this morning?

Sorry. I used to enjoy letting my kids play April Fool pranks when they were little. Their attempts were obviously and usually harmless. But we all outgrew the practice over the years. I guess that's a good thing.

E. B. Davis said...

Gloria--I think that April Fools Day is a great excuse for kids to trick adults. The harmless kid kind are fun for them (maybe a bit tiresome for adults).

No harm done, then Paula, and that can happen without anyone trying to trick the other. How is it that so any holidays for children are based on tricks? April Fools Day and Halloween.

LD, my son played tricks on me, but he had no need of April Fools Day. He was quite spontaneous about it. He doesn't do it much anymore, but then he doesn't live at home anymore, nor even in the same state. I just saw him yesterday, but now I miss him all over! Always the Mom. sigh!

Kara Cerise said...

I haven't played any April Fools' jokes that I can remember. The White House played one today. They sent out a special video message from the president. It started with a shot of an empty lectern in the press briefing room. Then a young boy (an actor who plays "Kid President" in YouTube videos) peeked over the lectern. He gave a brief message and ended with "April Fools on all of you all."

Alyx Morgan said...

I'm not big on April Fool's jokes, either. I don't mind a mild prank now & then, but like you, EB, I feel that the majority of them are mean-spirited. Like the time my dad put little jalapeno pieces in hot dogs before cooking them up for my brother. That's just mean & unnecessary.

Because of that, I've never been able to even come up with one . . . even a mild one. My brain just doesn't operate in the "how can I trick someone" fashion.

Anonymous said...

My favorite(?) April Fool's prank happened when I was working inside the secure areas of a state prison. I had a "secure" locker--extra re-enforcement, locks, etc--in which I was to keep anything that needed to be kept away from inmates including my own work crew--personal things, sharp tools, etc. On April 1, I came in & unlocked it. My crew had talked one of the corrections officers into letting them down in the evening. They totally disassembled the locker and put it back together with the back panel inches away from the door, and a note saying "APRIL FOOL!" at eye height.