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National Asshole Day

Yes, there is a day for literally everything. There is a "National U.S. Postage Stamp Day" (July 1), all the way down to a "National Florida Day" (January 25). If you Google "National Asshole Day," you will find many variations of this, with many of them scattershot across the year. Everybody proclaims a newfound day for something regarding, "Yell 'ASSHOLE' to a jerk in your life" to "a day to remember the assholes that have come and gone in your life." I'm calling B.S. on all of it. The REAL national asshole day is today, April 1.

Is it because it coincidentally falls on April Fools? Not entirely. April Fools may cause the NA-day, but it isn't the reason. The reason is simply that this is the only day of the year we immature, "kid at heart" fathers can bring all sorts of gags and pranks out of the woodwork with a good excuse! What dad (or man, for that matter!) doesn't like to have one day a year filled with immature pranks?!

That said, April 1 is arguably the day that "ASSHOLE!" is screamed the most, mainly from the wife or significant other to their significant other. People can't help themselves; when they have a reason to go ahead and scare the crap out of their kids and other family members, they tend not to think twice and do it regardless of the consequence. After all, it isn't just us modern people that like to laugh at other people's expense; the celebrated holiday has existed since the late 16th century in France.

The story of the asshole goes back to 1582 when the French switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which we still use today. The Julian calendar ran with the spring equinox, where the new year began closer to April 1. As you can imagine, the first few years of this switch were rough for two primary reasons. First, it was a massive change from the end of March to January 1 as the beginning of the new year (imagine Christmas being bumped back by three months and having it on September 25). Needless to say, that alone allowed for a revolt by people who disliked the change, so they continued to celebrate the nonexistent new year. Next, the other half of the camp forgot, with people still failing to recognize the changing of the new year. Thus, for the next few years, you ended up with ones improperly and accidentally celebrating the new year during the last week of March and onto April 1. The result: the asshole games begin.

The assholes, who were on their game, already had their calendars turned. They consisted of two primary parties: the law-abiding patriots loyal to the government and the changes made. Then you had the real assholes, the pranksters, the parts of society that like to throw a monkey wrench in plans and laugh at others' expense. Regardless of the party you belonged to, you were ready to poke or make fun of the victims who had not paid close attention or ignored the government and the changes made to the Gregorian calendar. As the assholes found their targets, the most common antic (far more simplistic than today's extravagant hoaxes and pranks) was to sneak a paper fish on their back. A paper fish? That was some downright rough stuff (try to hear my sarcasm). It did, however, have its meaning.

The paper fish parallels one of today's more modern April Fool's pranks: the "Honk" joke, where you place a paper or poster board saying "Honk! Wave! Smile!" on some unfortunate person's vehicle. Over four centuries ago, the equivalent was to put that paper fish on their back and yell, "Poisson d'Avril!" which translates to, you guessed it, "April Fish!" April fish was merely slang or a way to call someone gullible or to say they got themselves a "young, easily caught fish." *Fun fact* Fish was the 'item' rather than a fox or a clown because April 1 coincided with Lent in the Christian faith. During that time, Christians who practiced Lent could not eat meat; as an alternative, the Church authorities allowed for fish.

April Fool's transition from Poisson d’Avril to bumper stickers | | National Asshole Day
April Fool's transition from Poisson d’Avril to bumper stickers

As I did a little research on where April Fools came from, all I could think was, thank God I did not live in those times. Who would want to run around thinking you were all big and bad, putting fish on people's backs? Then again, as I stare at the picture above, I realize we aren't any better. Now it's just on people's vehicles. I'm just thrilled over the eons men had the boldness to push the limits of what this holiday could be. We can still push the limits of the April Fools' pranks more, and we should! Remember, this is the one day that we can get away with being immature and have some good clean fun knowing if our family members yell, "You ASSHOLE!" you have succeeded in the prank. That in itself is a badge of honor.

I will leave you with a few fun "Dad Facts" of pranks accomplished in the past on a mass scale. Reading them (let alone thinking that I could have fallen for them) makes me laugh, knowing some people believed some!

  • In 1905: Burliner Tageblatt (German) newspaper released a fictional story of burglars digging under the U.S. Treasury and robbing it, which sent the U.S. into panic mode, trying to catch the fictional characters

  • In 1957: BBC reported that Swiss farmers harvested record spaghetti crops and had footage of people harvesting noodles from "noodle trees"

BBC's April Fool prank of 1957 | Spaghetti Trees | | National Asshole Day

  • In 1985: Sports Illustrated fooled readers with a fictional piece stating there was a pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw fastballs over 168 mph

  • In 1992: NPR ran a radio segment with Richard Nixon claiming he was running for office again. Richard Nixon was only an actor in the broadcast

  • In 1996: Taco Bell claimed they had bought Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and were going to change their name to "Taco Liberty Bell"

  • In 1998: Burger King introduced the Left-handed Whopper. To BK's amusement, over 1.4 million people had actually tried ordering it

  • In 2000: Google introduced the "MentalPlex," which allowed for the use of Google to read one's mind bypassing the need to type it in the search box

  • In 2013: The U.S. Army released a statement that they were enlisting cats. Stating drafting cats would cut down on military costs, that they needed to do their part to serve their country, and concluded K9s didn't take kindly to this decision

Let me know what you did in the comments below to prank your friends and family! Even if you pull the ole "All Talk" prank (where you psych them out and say you don't know when it's coming- that being the prank, they worry about it all day, and nothing ever happens). Cheers!


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Kelly Currie
Kelly Currie
02 abr 2023

Interesting read:)

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