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Is everyone getting ready for tomorrow?

I think I dislike April Fools Day more than any other designated day of the year. I have fallen victim to April Fool gags more times than I can remember… in fact, it’s how I knew my first marriage was ending when my, then, wife didn’t play a joke on me. That didn’t stop most of my friends from taking me in.

Yeah, I’ll put something on the blog which will be a completely humorous fiction… and I’ll respond to e-mails as usual. However, I’ll be happy when the day is over.

So where did April Fool’s Day come from. Infoplease.com gave this historic summary:

Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year’s Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. That year, France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year’s day to Jan. 1. According to a popular explanation, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on “fool’s errands” or trying to trick them into believing something false. Eventually, the practice spread throughout Europe.

So how did it get over here and into our present day incarnation? Perhaps it came over with the French.
French youngsters celebrate “poisson d’Avril” or “April Fish” by sneaking up behind friends and sticking a picture of a fish on their backs… the target is then pointed out and laughed at by others.
The Premiere Avril postcard on the left is a testament to the April Fish concept.
Anyway, I hope all of you avoid being humiliated tomorrow… and please have a concern for people you may play these pranks on. You’ll want to keep your friends on April 2nd.
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Getting our minds off Libya, Wisconsin and Japan for awhile: Are you looking for a cushy job?

You could be the Aflac Duck‘s new voice. Really. I just ran across this in an article in Salon.

Aflac is auditioning voices to find the one that will replace the fired Gilbert Gottfried…and you could be the one.

All you have to do is record an audition piece and get it e-mailed to Aflac at http://www.quackaflac.com/applyonline by April Fool’s Day.

Here are the guidelines:

* Submitted by 11:59pm PST on Friday 4/1
* No more than 30 seconds long
* 10MB or smaller
* File name includes your first and last names
* Is a standard file format:
o Audio: mp3, wav, midi, wma, mpa, mp2, m2a, ra
o Video: mov, qt, mpeg, mpg, wmv, rmvb, rm, avi, m4a, mp4, m4v

Note: Although I spent a little time during my job search period selling Aflac some years ago, I have no relationship, economic or otherwise, to these auditions. I assume Salon doesn’t either. I will be entering, however.

Good luck!

I’m not as happy today as I’d like to be…

I spent the morning going to two of my more common doctors, my GP and my Endocrinologist, over a brief episode that I had Sunday in the early morning. I don’t remember any of the episode, but my wife tells me I spent 3 or so minutes standing against a bedroom wall, staring straight ahead with my hands shaking. As I say when I finally remembered things there were two ambulance technicians from the Shepherdstown FD in my bedroom asking me questions (like “what’s your name” and “how many fingers am I holding up.” – oddly enough I could remember my street number, but not the name of the road for a couple of minutes… that’s pretty scary to me.)

Then my wife left me alone and let me sleep… which I did most of the morning.

According to my GP, I had a minor “ischiotic episode”… or, to coin a phrase, a “small stroke.” I just don’t remember it happening, just waking up from it. He’s sending me to a specialist on Friday.

This has been a lousy week, anyway. I had my annual appointment with the Opthalmologist, only to be told that, due to diabetes, my eyes are getting worse. He’s got me coming back to see an eye/blood specialist on April Fool’s Day (funny, yeah?). However, slowly but surely I’m going blind… it could take another ten or fifteen years.


Maybe I’ll have the big stroke before then.