When did April Fools Day begin? Some say it precedes the Roman Empire, but I am a strict historian and declare the year still under discussion. The month, however, I have, through exhaustive research, pinned down to April. Earliest record connecting 1st April and foolishness is in Chaucer's, The Canterbury Tales, not the volume that appeared in 1392 , but the earlier "scratch and sniff" edition (to which some are allergic). It's in the pumphouse somewhere, along with other enigmatic curiosities of the Geo.archive. Achoo:
"You've been in the pumphouse. I smell it."
"Norma, it's the only place I can keep my archive protected and orderly."
"Orderly? You never clean out there."
"Any disturbance to my filing system would throw history into chaos."
"But that box has an inch of dust on it!"
"Precisely an inch? That would be May of '96. Can you photograph a few slides?"
"Only a few, before I start sneezing. This one first?"
"Shhh, this is where the essay begins!"
"I'll photo the others now...achoo!"
Now, to begin this scholarly essay in an academically acceptable manner, I shall say soberly, Ewww, He's holding a dead cat. The delivery boy has apparently introduced, into this 19th century home, an enigma. Father is puzzled. Mother and daughter share a giddy secret --they have perpetrated an April Fool joke, a crude one requiring much preparation, sadism and some expense. The scene does not pleasantly reward further speculation. Let's proceed to the next.
Sometime during his long and productive life, Herbert Spencer wrote, "The ultimate effect of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools." It would seem that process is always underway. It is a source of measureless comfort to us men everywhere, everywhen.
On the behalf of my gender and our species, I wish all humanity a happy April Fools' Day!
3/31? Close enough.