Saturday, 2 April 2011
"You should have written
an April Fools' Day post" I was told by a friend who reads this blog - and never comments. "No, I do not like April Fools' Day," I said - and I do not. "But you like jokes!" Well, yes I do like jokes. I like things that are genuinely funny. I like silly riddles. I like puns - even if I am sometimes slow to catch on. My entire family likes that sort of thing. My father has an entire shelf of books devoted to jokes. Magicians tend to collect this sort of thing. If we find a book of likely jokes he does not have we will buy it for him. He reads a few every night before turning the light out. I can sometimes hear him chuckling and occasionally there will be a roar of laughter. I know he has come across something new to him when this happens. A good joke is a delight. The best sort of jokes have what my father calls, "A kick in the tail" - that unexpected ending. They will give you a good deep laugh that actually makes you feel physically better. April Fools' Day "jokes" are not designed to do any of that. They are designed to make people look silly. I have no time for that. It is unkind. It can be very cruel. "I am just teasing!" someone will protest. What is "just teasing"? Are you sure you are not bullying someone? I wonder if I am being overly sensitive about this but I hate seeing people upset, bewildered or hurt. I have seen friendships die because of foolish April Fools' Day jokes. Perhaps the friendships were not worth having in the first place but they might also have developed into something that was - except for that "joke". A few minutes ago we received word that the newest member of the clan had arrived safely into the world. I am glad she was not born on the 1st April. It is not a good thing to be a fool.