Stay Out Of My Way On

I hate April Fools Day. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before.

I must have liked it once, I’m sure; there are vague memories of being a kid and laughing hard at the kind of kid “pranks” that get pulled on April 1st, when there’s no demarcation between joking and outright lying and anything and everything is deemed permissible if you shout APRIL FOOL at the top of your lungs afterward, so I’d like to think that I’ve not always been this much of a curmudgeon.

By my early twenties, though, I was already over it. I remember there being some attempt at a big April Fools stunt when I was at art school, and the utter disdain and disgust I felt at the very notion when it was first suggested to me, a passion for eye-rolling that only comes from being so young. Even then, though, it was something that I found tiring and pointless and, most of all, almost painfully un-fun. Why bother?

My true hatred didn’t arrive until I started writing on the internet for a living, however. In a trend that, thankfully, died off as we all got older and wiser, there was once a point where April 1st was when internet writers were encouraged to just lie in order to try and fool readers with something so “funny” and “outrageous” that it would drive up page views and those all important ad views as readers incredulously clicked through to share their anger and frustration at the news that wasn’t real. And then, get this, we were encouraged to write a second article, revealing that we’d been lying all along and betraying the readers’ trust in us! For fun and profit! It was, uh… “hilarious,” apparently.

And then, once that had died off, there was the horror of having to try to report news on a day when you literally couldn’t believe anything, because lying was the law. More than once on April 1st, I’ve written stories about things that seemed entirely real, only for it to subsequently be revealed as a joke where the entire joke was, “That thing isn’t happening.” All April 1sts should be considered days when all reporting is suspended, just to save time.

Only joking! I love April Fools and you’re all dumb for believing what you just read and this is a funny joke because oh God, I can’t even go through with it. April Fools Day, you fucking suck as a concept and an annual event.

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