There are two kinds of friends, and April Fool’s Day is society’s yearly reminder to sort, categorize, and cull them. There are the friends who respect you, and the friends who bring a vegetable tray or low fat cupcakes to a potluck. The day is meant to be ripe with tomfoolery and gotcha moments in a good natured way, but the people who opt for healthy alternative cheese are the very people who will switch your sugar for salt. They’re not the worst people, but they might rank up there as the kind of people in my experience who still participate in the April Fool’s tradition. These people should not be held solely accountable for their misdeeds however. No one is born wanting to be a dick. Someone had to teach them how.
April Fool’s is meant for children, but the hidden damage won’t manifest until later life. This is the day when we lie to the children and hope that it’s hilarious. It’s the day when it’s OK to put dry dog food in a box labelled “Fruity Sugar Dumps”, or tell them the wasp nest in the garage rafters is a piñata. This is the kind of lying and mistrust we are encouraging, and we need to do something about it before we can’t undo the carnage.
Our actions, as innocent as they might seem, give way for these children to mature into adults who then bring low fat sour cream based dip to office parties…because they trust no one. Unchecked, the cycle perpetuates and these grown-ups will be the first to switch out your salon shampoo with Pepto Bismol. But with childhood wounds that deep, their only true recourse is a pre-emptive strike.
It is then our duty as an adaptive society to cease and desist with these April Fool’s lies. We owe it to our children to be honest in our ways and examples, and to stop wishing we had thought of the piñata thing sooner.