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This has been going on for hundreds of years.

This has been going on for hundreds of years.

Annual peak of gullibility comes round again

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As sure as the clock strikes midnight, as certain as spring follows winter (eventually), as reliably as the good joke begets the good laugh, the rhythms of life in the village have their consistent, predictable patterns.

One such cycle has come round again, and though we prepare ourselves, drink some strong coffee and put on our sharpest demeanor, inevitably, someone will tell us, shocked, that the word “gullible” was scrawled in black marker on the ceiling tiles overnight. And inevitably, some of us will look up. And we will have fallen for it — “it” being an April Fools prank. 

Though not much is known about the origins of the April Fools tradition, Wikipedia notes, the “setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks has historically been relatively common in the world.”

“Harmless” is the operative word here, also the contentious one: is it harmless to make someone look stupid? To deliberately rig a trap with a set-up so deadpan it could fool a stone-faced poker champ, then guffaw when a trusting soul takes that bait, the walls suddenly fall away and they’re greeted by a chorus of “Ayypril Fooools”?  

Well, yes — sort of. There’s humor, satire and practical jokery year round, but these take on new meaning, gravitas perhaps, when thrown into relief by the spotlight of April 1st. This illumination, however, ought also to serve as a warning light. 

So in and by this light, and as a tribute to the creative efforts of years of Yellow Springs News staffers, we present this link to the last eight years of YS News April Fools pieces. Enjoy.


(Actually, this is the link.)

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