To prank or not to prank — that is the question

Nothing says "welcome to April" quite like a holiday made for witty pranksters. A holiday of hilarity, undoubtedly, but taken the wrong way, clever yet mindless practical jokes can be taken offensively. Some see it as April 1st, a day to make tomfoolery evident; others cheat the system and see it as March 32nd, just a day.

I, for one, suffer from severe gullibility. There could always be a spider on the ceiling or a deer in the backseat. Ergo, April Fool’s Day is not a holiday I am particularly fond of; my creativity wears thin and I am susceptible to believe almost anything, despite being fully aware of the day. How does a prankster’s paradise even qualify as a holiday?

Ancient cultures celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1, closely following the beginning of spring. However, year 1582 rolled around and the Pope, using his power to rearrange calendar holidays, decided to shift New Year’s Day to Jan. 1. People either accepted or rejected this reform; the traditional believers who refused to celebrate on Jan. 1 were teased and tricked into false beliefs. This is just one of many beliefs of the origination of April Fool’s Day; all-knowing Google knows more theories.  

Even if I am gullible, as a fan of mild humor, I am willing to compromise the opposing viewpoints toward this "special day" and provide some innocent suggestions for the practical minds. (I will hereby not be held accountable for any wrongdoing that might occur on April 1).

• Many people read door signs to public entrances, such as when the door reads "push" or "pull." There is no ethical harm in switching these signs and keenly observing the potential struggle that a passerby might endure in pushing or pulling these doors in the opposite direction.


• Furthermore, people typically obey door signs when they read "Please use other door." Imagine if all the entry doors on a building were posted with this warning. This would cause utter confusion. It might even be enjoyable for the prankster to time how long it takes until a subject is so audacious to open a posted door.

• Does someone in your household enjoy eggs for mealtime? If you have glue and a careful hand, maybe that glue can spill a little into the carton, right underneath the eggs.

• If I opened the fridge to see a beautifully frosted cake waiting to be devoured, I would let that cake serve its purpose. But what if that frosted cake was merely a box, disguised as a treat for the fallible minds of chocolate-lovers? This may work for family, friends and coworkers.

• It’s amazing how many people struggle with typing, having to look at the individual letters on the keyboard to punch in a word. Just think of how much more amazing — and entertaining — it would be to see some of these people type if the letters just so happened to be rearranged.

Whether April 1 is a day for pranks and humor or confusion and gullibility, use good taste in any practical jokes that might cross the mind. Yet still have some innocent fun with it.

Perhaps April 1 is the only day of the year deemed acceptable to lurk behind a corner and watch passersby struggle to open doors, or to tell an in-law they won the lottery.

But regardless of the date, there could always be a spider on the ceiling.

Jessica Knudson is a senior at Century High School. To respond to an opinion column, send an e-mail to

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