Friday 11 April 2014

by Dhanya Kuladeva & Edryna Zarif, Form 4 Cempaka, Class of 2015

Your watch shows that it's 10:30 am, and though you should be focusing on cations and anions instead you're visualising how content and happy you would feel at 10:40 when you can finally go to the canteen for break and get to gulf down the fried noodles you've been fantasising about since the start of the period. Just as you reach the canteen, you look straight at the stalls to see a tremendously long line of students, all of them jostling, queuing up and looking tearfully at the aunty in charge of the fried rice stall hoping that she'll take their order first. The hunger is unbearable and you’re desperate for something, anything. Who cares if it's edible or not?

The long line is off-putting and you feel like making a detour to the drinks section, but your stomach protests loudly and you make a bee line for the fried noodles counter, ready to queue up behind what seems like 1983 people. To your surprise, and utmost relief of your growling stomach, a good friend of yours stops you before you can reach the line and offers you the most beautiful and irresistible-looking Oreo cookie. You snatch it from the Oreo packet and devour it. Within seconds it vanishes. You think to yourself, "Since when were Oreos minty?" 

You glance up at your friend who's cackling in delight and satisfaction. Confusion hits you until your 'good friend' holds an opened tube of toothpaste to your face and you realise that you've just scarfed down an Oreo cookie filled with 'Colgate's cavity protection' toothpaste. She then shouts, “Happy April Fool's Day!" and moves away like a predator stalking her next victim. Annoyed and ravenous, you make your way to the back of the line. Finally, you being to near the start of the line, and the mouth watering smell makes your stomach complain ever louder. But as soon as the aunty turns towards you to take your order, you hear the prefects starting to call students back to their classrooms. You sigh and begin the long trek back to your class while plotting on how to exact your revenge on your so-called friend and your stomach cries itself back into inactivity. Perhaps you should thank her. After all, you now have scientifically proven cavity free teeth.  

Not a single soul is actually 100% certain of how exactly April Fool's Day came about, although there are several theories regarding the origin of this amusing and fun-filled day. One popular belief is that the reason All Fools' Day now falls in April is related to the 1582 implementation of the Gregorian calendar reform in France, which changed the marking of the arrival of the new year from a week-long gift-giving celebration spanning March 25 to April 1 to a single-day observance on January 1. There were some who insisted on celebrating New Year's at the end of March, and were hence called fools.

Different countries have different traditions on how to fool people on April Fool's Day. In Ireland, its customary for people to entrust the victim with an "important letter" to be given to a specific person. The victim or "fool" would have to take it to someone else and the recipient would open the letter which contained the words, "send the fool further." The prank would go on until the "fool" finally decides to open the letter.

In France, the "fool" is called a poisson d'avril, an "April Fish." In conjunction with the celebration of this, French shop dwellers would sell chocolates shaped like fish. People also try their hand at trying to pin paper fish on each other's back as a joke. The perpetrator cries out triumphantly, "April Fish!” 

The award for 2014's biggest April Fool's prank goes to the Ryan Seacrest website for the post about High School Musical 4: The Wedding which got every High School Musical fanatic screaming for joy and trying to believe their eyes. But nothing can beat the classic, old, mint in an Oreo.

Happy belated April Fools! 
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