Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about an unofficial holiday in most of the world (and official holiday in a small part of the world).
In the seventy seventh episode of The Simpsons, So It’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show (Season 04, Episode 18), Homer is trying to prove he’s the king of April Fools’ around the house. He starts by duct taping Bart’s eyes shut overnight, so when Bart wakes up he believes he is blind. He then also has Bart drink milk that has gone well past bad, as Homer left it out next to the furnace for several weeks.
When Homer wonders where April Fools comes from, Lisa shares a story of how it originates from the ancient pagans. A scene depicting pagan Simpsons and Christian Flanders shows the origins of April Fools’ Day, with the Christians pranking the pagans who are celebrating new years on April 1st.
Bart decides to seek revenge on Homer.
Bart: “You’re going down, Homer. I’m gonna fool you!”
Homer: “You talk better than you fool.”
Bart: “I’ll fool you up real nice.”
Homer: “You couldn’t fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine.”
Bart discovers beer is Homer’s weakness.
He takes a can of beer to the local paint shop and vigorously shakes the can, in an attempt to splash Homer with beer.
However the April Fools’ prank goes terribly wrong when the can explodes upon Homer opening it. The resultant explosion severely damages the Simpsons house and lands Homer in a coma.
Dr. Hibbert: “Mrs. Simpson, I’m afraid your husband is dead. (laughs) April Fools. He’s very much alive, although I’m afraid he may never walk again.”
But have you ever wondered what April Fools’ Day is?
April Fools’ Day
April Fools’ Day is an annual April 1st custom consisting of practical jokes and hoaxes. The jokester often exposes their actions by shouting “April Fools!” at the recipient.
According to History.com, April Fools’ Day has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, though its exact origins remain a mystery. While its exact history is shrouded in mystery, the embrace of April Fools’ Day jokes by the media and major brands has ensured the unofficial holiday’s long life.
History.com continues to say some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1st. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1st and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1st became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools”. These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (French for “April fish”), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
According to History.com, some historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in Ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. It involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens and even magistrates and was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth.
Wikipedia actually has a list of April Fools’ Day jokes.
While the day is not a public holiday in any country; it is however special in the city of Odessa, Ukraine, where April 1st is an official city holiday for April Fools’ Day.
Now that we’ve learned more about April Fools’ Day, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite Homer and Bart relationship-centric episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite prank on The Simpsons? Do you commemorate April Fools’ Day? What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled? What about the best prank you were the victim of? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.