Many years ago, New Year’s Day was on April first. Later when people began to use a different calendar, New Year’s Day came on January first. But some people forgot and celebrated at the old time. So the custom of fooling friends first became popular in France, then it spread quickly to other countries. If you fall for a trick, someone may call you an April gowk (cuckoo bird) in Scotland, an April fish in France, a noddie in England, or an April fool in other English-speaking countries. In Portugal they celebrate two All Fools’ Days, on the Sunday and Monday before Lent. The trick they play is to throw flour at their friends.

Lancelot: Which knight of the Round Table always gave up first in a fight? Guinevere: Sir Render!

Susan: When is music like vegetables? Shaun: When there’s only two beets to the measure!

Steven: So you have a new baby sister. What’s her name? Richard: I don’t know, I can’t understand a word she says!

Andy: What asks no questions but requires many answers? Sandy: A doorbell.

Mother: Billy, how did you get so dirty? Billy: Well, Mom, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are!

Terry: What comes up to your house but never goes in? Mary: A sidewalk.

Tom: Why is a watch like a river? Huck: Because it doesn’t run long without winding!

Connie: What did one hot dog say to the other? Harry: Hi, Frank!

Customer: Is your water healthy? Waiter: Yes, sir, we use only well water.

Fill fairly large box with empty tin cans and gift wrap. Tell your victim you have a surprise gift for him. Just as it’s about to change hands, drop gift on floor. The resulting crash will make him jump.

Prepare some “gum” for your friends. First collect some chewing gum wrappers. Then cut strips of lightweight cardboard the same size as sticks of gum, rub with powdered sugar, and wrap in gum papers.

Obtain a small gift box and cut off-center hole in bottom of box. Line box with two layers of cotton. Insert your index finger through box and through first layer of cotton. Put lid on box. Ask someone if he can guess what’s in box. When you remove lid, and top layer of cotton, he’ll be startled to see a wriggling finger!

Thread free end of spool of thread through needle. Put spool into inside coat or pants pocket, then pass thread of needle through cloth to outside of an article of clothing. Remove needle, leaving about 1″ of thread showing. Someone is sure to see it and will try to remove thread that will keep coming and coming—and coming!

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney