An Unlikely Tale

I’ve just been unpacking a bulky new fridge which, when being shifted by GJ Strachan in isolation, felt so heavy and vast I wouldn’t have surprised me to learn it possessed it’s own zip code. Now unpacked and garage in situ, the huge silver coloured ‘construction’ now looking down on everything in its adjacent proximity. An imposing sight akin to how the Empire State Building lauds it over the edifices of 5th Avenue and 33rd/34th Street.

Thankfully, I managed to unpack the fridge/freezer a few moments before the recycle refuse truck arrived, affording me opportunity to discarded its vast box. Otherwise, I’d had a bloody great cardboard crate eyesore residing in my back garden for a fortnight, when the next recycle truck revisits the street.

I’m writing this piece while awaiting the refrigerator gases settle after transportation, prior to plugging the appliance into the mains. Don’t worry, though, the lukewarm fridge anecdotes finish with the conclusion of this paragraph.

It’s April Fools Day. Consequently, we’ll have a day littered with inane pranks, silly stories and tiresome practical jokes…… In other words it’s business as usual dans maison de Strachan.

I find some practical jokes whimsical and innovative. For instance, yours truly was highly amused when hearing of a prank an acquaintance plans involving the filling of hollow Easter egg gifts with toothpaste…….. That being said, if she employs that form of horseplay with my chocolate egg, I’d be bloody furious at such puerile flimflam!

Despite possessing a love for the absurd, I’m not much of a fan of the ill thought out and futile pranks. By this, I’m referring to the words of whimsy which clearly aren’t true. Jests which have no chance of fooling the attempted victim. For instance, a misguided wag exclaiming “Come here quick, Gary!… An ostrich has just run off with your mobile phone!”…… An incident that obviously won’t happen, rendering it an utterly lazy and lame prank.

Incidentally, it’s the practical joke that’s lazy and lame, not the ostrich after injuring itself during it’s escape with my mobile……. The ostrich doesn’t exist remember!

April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) has uncertain origins. The only thing historians can conclude with any certainty is this celebration of mirth didn’t start as the result of an ostrich stealing a mobile phone.

There’s a school of thought this day celebrates the changing of seasons from winter to spring; in the process uplifting spirits with it’s less inclement weather. One legend suggests during the early 19th century this day bore the dubious nom de plume of ‘Thank F*** it’s Not As Parky Outside Day’……. However, later that century, after German puritans deemed it too wordy and contained unnecessary cursing, its title was changed.

Personally, though, I’d take such unreliable old wives tales with a pinch of salt, concluding it’s debatable whether this tale of folklore bears any basis in fact……… Actually, I’m fibbing – As I’ve just fictionalising that nonsense myself, I can proffer with utmost certainty the previous paragraph bears not one jot of truth.

Yesterday, I embarked on a dry run of my own inane April Fools pranks, advising my mum the pages of Jamie Oliver’s Italian menu book were produced from recycled lasagne sheets. Unsurprisingly, she was having none of this spurious pasta reclamation yarn……. That being said, she’s remaining open-minded with regards my equally ludicrous lie that the tome’s braille version incorporates folios of recycled penne!

It seems to me that April Fool’s Day holds a higher profile in contemporary times; with individuals seemingly bearing a greater desire to undertake whimsical pranks. I suppose during these dark COVID-19 times, today’s horseplay maybe a sight for the populaces sore eyes…..  Or, indeed, a sound for their sore ears!

During my childhood in 1970’s Gateshead, I don’t recall individuals being as keen at  spending 1st April indulging themselves with ill-thought out fibs like “Come quickly, Gary!….. Your Spangles are on fire!”……  Or “Blimey, Audy Kennedy from number 42 has just seen Spiderman in Bert’s Pie Shop on Low Fell. Apparently, he asked for a mince-pie instead of steak & kidney as he’s allergic to kidney!

Footnote – Your Spangles are on fire isn’t a euphemism!…. Although, as Spangles weren’t flammable, I’ll admit it was an ill thought out example for use within this prose.

I’ve vague recollections of being told as a child that you can only pull a prank up until midday on April Fools Day. I’m unsure if that still holds true……. Actually, I need to dash. An ostrich has just run off with my bloody mobile phone!

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