Happy All Fools’ Day, or April Fools’ Day to you! All Fools’ Day is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. That is if you’re the joker and not the jokee. Though many disagree on its origins, one thing is for sure; we all have a little imp inside of us just waiting to ‘pull a good one’ on someone else. Common practices for this all-nonsense day include sending someone on a “fools’ errand,” looking for things that don’t exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
So on this day that is celebrated throughout Western civilization, we thought we would share a few of the latter with you, trying to get people to believe ridiculous things. We are all familiar with the email ‘truths’ that go around (and around and around….) We all know Snopes.com all too well. If you are like us, you have Snopes.com saved in your favorites list. However, we did a little sleuthing of our own, and found a prank that we thought would interest our readers. It is a literary hoax if you will.
This literary hoax, a favorite of ours by the way, took place over 25 years ago at Boston University. This prank was perpetrated not for financial gain, but for the true essence of April 1st – for the fun of it.
Constantine and Kugel
Since many disagree about the origins of April Fools’ Day, an explanation was provided by Joseph Boskin, a professor of history at Boston University. He explained that the practice began during the reign of Constantine, when a group of court jesters and fools told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire. Constantine, amused, allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day, and the custom became an annual event.
“In a way,” explained Prof. Boskin, “it was a very serious day. In those times fools were really wise men. It was the role of jesters to put things in perspective with humor.”
This explanation was brought to the public’s attention in an Associated Press (AP) article printed by many newspapers in 1983. There was only one catch: Boskin made the whole thing up. It took a couple of weeks for the AP to realize that they’d been victims of an April Fools’ joke themselves.
However, since we are such ardent fans of all things Marilyn Monroe, we thought we would share this bit of news with you. This was printed in the Los Angeles Times on March 16, 2012:
‘A collection of never-before-seen photos of Marilyn Monroe – and their accompanying copyrights – are going up for auction.
Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien says more than 100 images of Monroe will be sold the highest bidders later this month.
The photos come from the estate of Allan “Whitey” Snyder, Monroe’s personal makeup artist for 15 years. One image shows Snyder applying makeup to a lingerie-wearing Monroe on the set of “Let’s Make Love” in 1960.
Letters, telegrams and a money clip from Monroe to Snyder are also among the lots set to be sold during Julien’s Auctions’ Hollywood Legends sale on March 31 and April 1. The auction also includes memorabilia from Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Charlie Chaplin and Sammy Davis, Jr.’
We would love to have some of her old letters or the money clip for our own collection. But that’s for another time. We only share this bit of news with you because we believe they could have picked a better day to auction off Marilyn Monroe memorabilia than on April Fools Day! And so it does makes us wonder; will we be reading an article in the AP bemoaning the fact that they had been duped again?
Happy foolin’ to you all!