April Fool’s Day not to be forgotten

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    By Meagan Nelson

    With General Conference and the Daylight Savings” time change, April Fool”s Day might not be a top priority this weekend.

    However, some BYU faculty and students follow a long tradition of making time to pull pranks on April 1.

    Legend says April Fool”s Day began in 1564 when the Gregorian Calendar came into use, shifting New Year”s Day from April 1 to January 1.

    People who continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1 were called “April fools,” and others played tricks on them.

    Since then, April Fool”s Day has been associated with pulling pranks.

    For Benjamin Becker, the April Fool”s tradition began at a young age when his parents began a unique breakfast ritual.

    “My parents used to make us eat breakfast with large utensils like huge wooden spoons or spatulas,” said Becker, 22, a junior from Bountiful, Davis County, majoring in English and math.

    But he later found revenge when he spray-painted the family cat red to look like it had been injured.

    “My sister was terrified,” Becker said. “That was funny.”

    According to BYUSA Student Leadership, BYU has no official April Fool”s Day traditions.

    But, Becker and others like him have brought their own traditions to BYU.

    Perhaps one of the most consistent BYU pranksters is Ron Woods, assistant to the dean of the College of Humanities.

    Woods not only has a note in his planner reminding himself to play pranks, he also maintains a reference file of past practical jokes to ensure he does not repeat them.

    Woods” jokes, which are sent over official college email, usually raise quite a response.

    One year, he sent a phony e-mail that announced a pancake breakfast as the first item.

    The next two items on the e-mail were obviously fake announcements and were followed by a list of practical joke suggestions.

    At least one or two people who only read the first line of the e-mail did not realize the e-mail was a fake, and showed up for the breakfast, Woods said with a laugh.

    Although most of Woods” jokes make light of his college”s business, many students” pranks deal with an even more serious matter – marriage.

    A common practical joke around BYU is to send missionaries fake wedding announcements. But the jokes do not always turn out as planned.

    Rachel Koch, 21, a junior from Las Vegas, majoring in sociology said she sent one of these pseudo-announcements last year.

    “It was going to be so funny,” Koch said. “But he got the announcement and the letter I sent a week later to explain the joke on the same day.”

    As faculty and student jokers continue to play pranks, the April Fool”s tradition will carry on.

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