They say there’s no fool like an April Fool. And at Grub Burger Bar, we’re all about some good-natured shenanigans. But why do we celebrate April Fools on the first of the month by playing pranks on our friends each year?
Here’s a quick history of this hilarious holiday:
- The grand tradition of playing practical jokes on one another goes back to ancient times. The Romans, who were known as the ultimate partiers, had an end-of-March festival they called Hilaria, which involved dressing up in disguises.
- When France switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, the new year moved from the end of March to Jan. 1. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo, and these folks became the butt of a lot of jokes. One popular prank that continues to this day is the “poisson d’avril,” or April fish, in which kids try to stick paper fish onto their friends’ backs without them knowing. The fish symbolizes being easily caught.
- By the 1700s, the English started playing practical jokes on one another on April 1, and April Fools Day as we know and love it was born.
Since then, there have been some significant grand-scale gags throughout the years. A few of our favorites include:
- In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a bumper spaghetti crop. They even showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees. TV still was pretty new at this time, and so it didn’t occur to many people that a news station would pull their collective leg. The Museum of Hoaxes recognizes it as the No. 1 April Fools’ hoax of all time.
- In the 1980s, the BBC said that Big Ben was going digital and that its hands would be given away to the first four people who called in to ask for them. Brits were absolutely outraged by the idea that their magnificent clock looking like a cheap Timex, and they spoke out in droves.
- In 1994, PC Magazine ran a column about a congressional bill that would make it illegal to use the Internet while intoxicated. The name of the fictional spokesperson in the story, Lirpa Sloof (read it backward), didn’t dispel the belief that the days of drunk web-surfing were over.
If you’re looking for a prank-free zone this April Fools, come see us at Grub — our burgers are no joke. Sure, some of them — like our Guacapotle™, our Mac ‘N’ Cheeseburger and our Voo Doo Mushroom — go a little bit beyond the ordinary. But with buns baked fresh every hour, house-made sauces and dressings, and, of course, our signature blend of 100 percent fresh ground beef, these are some serious eats for serious people.
OK, maybe scratch that last part.
Happy April Fools Day!