April Fool

Friday 1st April

I wonder where the term April fool comes from?  Probably some farming wisdom about fools who planted or harvested too early and there was no fool like an April fool.  As a child we all looked forward to the first of April when we would try to trick our friends or family into believing something unusual and delight in exclaiming April fool when they said “Really” or seemed to believe our innocent lies.  The practice seems to have died out of late though, or maybe it still goes on in schools.  There have been a few notable April Fool’s jokes, most notably on the BBC when they reported on Spaghetti growing on trees and apparently thousands of viewers were fooled.  The Independent used to always run some silly story, usually about Europe – and I would (in the far off days when I actually bought a paper every day) scour the headlines trying to guess what the April Fools story was by the title (I wasn’t always right either).  The best April Fool however was in America, where a National newspaper had the headline “New violet smelling ink used for the first time” and almost all their readers would gently sniff at the paper and declare that they couldn’t (or maybe in some cases that they actually could) smell the news-ink, before reading just above the headline the date.

And now we wake up and think “That can’t possibly be true, can it?”  Donald Trump, despite trying his best to alienate Muslims, Hispanics, the poor, women and most foreigners – is actually on course to win not only the Republican Nomination but the presidency itself.  The demographics are all in his favour, and Hilary is hardly sweeping all before her on the Democratic side.  Last night on BBC news they had a special programme about the man, interviewing friends and even his butler (I kid you not, his butler!!!) and they all said what a wonderful man he was.  He may indeed go on to be considered by Americans in much the same light as Ronald Reagan, another ‘buffoon’ we ridiculed at the time who is now considered as one of their greatest Presidents.  Yes, please check the date, but Donald may indeed Trump Hilary and become President in a few month’s time.