Editorial: April Fools Day

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Yesterday was April Fools Day, and from all accounts, it was a fun day. There were the usual false stories and claims, with the exultant announcement: “April Fools Day!” Practical jokes and pranks were pulled on the unsuspecting, and it was a time for much levity. Apparently, we need that ‘comic relief’ ever so often. In this hectic, absurd world, a lighthearted moment can go a long way towards releasing pent-up emotions. It’s a helluva de-stressor! Indeed, it is often called “The best medicine!”

We sometimes take ourselves too seriously, and a joke at our expense can help us lighten up. Indeed, we suggest that life would go by in a blur, were it not for moments like these – these precious moments when we really ought to simply put the pen or the tool down and take time to smell the flowers and listen to the chirping birds, or watch a good movie, or go to the beach, or read a good book, or visit a loved one, or pay someone a compliment from the heart, or hug and kiss someone, or give a struggling soul a kind word and a few dollars, or tell a friend or a family member, “I love you!”  Or pull an April Fools’ prank, or share an April Fools joke.

One shocking news headline that made the rounds via social media yesterday was that R. Allen Stanford, the convicted Ponzi schemer, had been released. Almost immediately, folks knew that that had to be an April Fools joke, because, having exhausted all his appeals, Stanford is doomed to spend the rest of his life behind bars. And in the United States, there is no attorney general or prison superintendent who can release him on dubious claims of ‘good behavior.’ Moreover, there is no HAPI program that can enable him to consort with a love interest away from the prison compound.

 Another April Fools joke that was shared privately among a few chosen friends was that our good minister of education, he of the dreadful eBooks saga, and the equally dreadful and shameful renunciation of his own letter and conscience, was being appointed to be the minister of finance in our fair state. Again, most folks immediately knew that that was a hoax, because the good minister of education, never mind that he is a supposedly “bright chap,” is “an intellectual novice” when it comes to matters of high finance.

We here at NEWSCO got into the flow of things by pulling a few pranks and cracking a few jokes of our own. Shelton Daniel, Dane Knight, and Franz De Freitas, they who never saw a roast pork that they did not like, were told that, in keeping with the company’s health plan, they had to go on a diet immediately, or lose company health coverage. To say that their faces fell as they contemplated life without bacon, pork loin, ham roll and pepperpot filled with copious amounts of pigtail is putting it mildly. Indeed, Franz and Knight were particularly upset at the thought that they could no longer indulge in their favourite dish of salt-fish garnished with fat meat! Needless to say, their spirits rose considerably when the office staff yelled, “April Fools Day!”

Actually, if truth be told, they were so relieved at the good news that they promptly went to see our favourite food vendor, from whom they ordered several plates of seasoned rice. As you can imagine, the dish was a pork-lovers dream – lots of pigs feet and pigs tails. Serpent and Dave Lester Payne led the way! 

Shermaine Bique-Charles, a senior reporter and producer here at NEWSCO was given a letter cautioning her to cease and desist in her repeated pronunciation of “Jumby Bay” as “Jomby Bay,” and “Harold Lovell” as “Harold Lovele!” She too was quite relieved when told that it was an April Fools joke. We love Shermaine Bique-Charles. She is a great reporter and producer and a jolly good sport.

Early yesterday, Paul Quinn, was told that he would be replacing Jojo Apparicio as the captain of the GOOD MORNING JOJO MEDIA team, a team being put together for the Mandy Premier League charity game which will be raising funds for Netisha Horsford, whose family lost everything in a fire last November. Well, as happens on days such as yesterday, Quinn was sorely disappointed when his colleagues yelled, “April Fools Day!”  Quinn protested that he was a better batsman than Darren Matthew Ward, Joe Antonio, Neto Baptiste, Kyle Scotland, JoJo Apparicio, Andre ‘DJ Illist’ Dyer, Robert Emanuel Jr., Maalik Edwards, Norrid Henry, Vivian Michael and Shane Daniel, but the men at Observer radio and The Daily Observer refused to play ball with Quinn as captain. In fact, never mind being captain, they insisted that Quinn will be lucky if he even gets the opportunity to play in the match. No respect!

And so it went – a fun day at the office. No offense meant, and certainly none taken! And these lighter moments of hoaxes and practical jokes added, in no small way, to the camaraderie and esprit de corps here at NEWSCO.

Of course, according to Will Rogers, an American actor and newspaper columnist, “The problem with practical jokes is that very often, they get elected.”  Ouch! And here in the Caribbean, we have well . . . more than our fair share. And yesterday was just like any other day, with the elected pulling jokes and pranks a-plenty on the people. Heck, this past April Fools Day was just another day of foolishness, hoaxes and jokes from on high.

And none of them were funny!

But there is hope yet. Abraham Lincoln, our favourite American President, said it best thusly: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time!”

Let’s pray and work towards less ‘fooling-up’ of the people!

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