My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, April 1, 2011

Just Foolin' around!

I can't believe it's April - that has to be a prank! (Bet my New England friends must think so too, looking out their windows today!)

I've often enjoyed the lighthearted silliness of April Fool's Day. The first April Fool's prank I remember pulling was around the age of nine, getting up before my parents (a trick in itself), and making footprint cutouts from black construction paper that I then taped across the ceiling from my bedroom doorway to the stairway landing, where a sign on the wall wished them a happy...

April Fool's Day

So I'm taking a much-needed break to share some fun and interesting goodies I've gathered over the past few months that seem especially appropriate for this day of fun-filled trickery and mischievous monkey-business!

I caught this intriguing story on NPR back in January and after sending it to AdventureJo (an engineer who gets a kick out of stuff like this), I bookmarked it for my April Fool's Day post...

The illusions in the videos reminded me of the drawings of M.C. Escher, the 20th century Dutch graphic artist famous for his mathematically inspired illustrations of impossible architecture, the concept of infinity, and clever illusions that make the brain spin.

I really enjoy good trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye"), like this beer cellar Mark Spijkerbosch painted on the floor of a shower stall...

Or this sidewalk illusion (ooooooo nooooooo!) done in chalk...

Or this elaborate Danish April Fool's joke of a subway car appearing to burst from below a Copenhagen street...

Naturally we have to celebrate the day with a little April Fool fun with fruits and veggies!

Saxton Freymann's broccoli poodle

And the day wouldn't be complete without a brief history of April Fool's Day from the History Channel, some April Fools bakery trickery from Cake Wrecks, and Snopes' list of April Fool's pranks from the past.

But my favorite, given my spring cleaning marathon, is definitely this one. ;-)

He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks.
~Fran├žois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

So here's wishing you a happy April Fool's Day, and a fun-filled Friday of folly!


  1. Happy April Fool's Laurie!! Fun post.

    I love the veggie clever. That sweet potato really does look like a guinea pig! I think my favorite are the little eggplant penguins. How do people get so clever? I don't like the creepy watermelon head lady though.

    The Kokichi Sugihara thing is really amazing too!

    Have some fun today; glad to hear you're taking a much deserved break from all your industrious activities.

    This past week has been a busy one over here too...lots going on. We're flying to Hawaii tonight; John's new boss is attending a conference/retreat in Hilo and he wanted John to come and document the training sessions. There's was no way I was gonna miss out on a chance at Hawaii, so I'm tagging my own expense of course, but still! :D

    I was going to surprise you with a postcard, but couldn't hold it in!

    Keep an eye out for that postcard!

    Talk to you soon,

    Rose xox

    April Fools! :)

  2. Those art pieces are AMAZING!

  3. I've seen the sidewalk art before- they're so amazing! That broccoli poodle is adorable. <3

    I tried playing an April Fool's joke on my co-workers by telling them that I was pregnant, but they didn't buy it. I guess I'm not good at telling a tale like that because they called me on it right away and told me that my facial expression was "off". lol

  4. Happy April 1! I don't think I'd be able to take a shower in the stall without falling, but I guess there's something for everyone in this world. Thanks for all the "foolish" links to add a little brightness to the dreary, rainy day here in Seattle.

    Rose is going to Hawaii? Lucky woman to be escaping the Seattle gloom!

  5. OMG. I just read the spring cleaning one — still laughing.

  6. Great post and I loved the art--all new to me and fun to enjoy. Glad you are taking a break!

  7. Rose ~ I'm glad you had fun with it! The eggplant penguins were among my favorites, too! So cute! Some of the fruit and veggie facial expressions just kill me. And I lol'ed at your "creepy watermelon head lady" line!

    I confess, you TOTALLY got me on the trip to Hawaii spoof!! I was so excited about your trip (and the promise of a postcard!) that I missed the "April Fools" at the end! LOL! Good one, Rose! But you're rotten. ;-)~

    Jamie ~ I thought so too!

    Molly ~ I thought you'd like that broccoli poodle! :-) Don't you love his little broccoli leaf tail? Saxton Freymann is so clever and creative, and obviously has a great sense of humor!

    Guess you're going to have to really work on your duplicity skills if you ever hope to have a career in politics (among other things!) :-) Your face is just too honest and wholesome for successful fibbing, Molly!

  8. Andrea ~ Thank you, and to you! :-)

    I absolutely thought the same thing about the shower floor. I would constantly be trying to catch myself from falling down the stairs! I'm glad this post added some silly cheer to your gloomy day. We've been having a lot of weather like that lately, but I haven't minded so much since I'm stuck inside anyway. However, I am needing it to clear up and dry out next week! How do you Seattelites ever have a chance to wash your windows?!

    Rose got you too! She's gooood! Now we know who can coach Molly in lying convincingly so she can trick her coworkers next year! ;-)

    Isn't that spring cleaning one a hoot? Can you believe the stuff people fall for? It's funny but also disturbing! I was especially alarmed over the last bit, where people were putting their phone receivers in buckets! Yikes.

    Daphne ~ It's fun that the artwork was all new to you, and I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

    My break involved more far more cleaning than resting or playing, but compared to my daily dawn to dusk drudgery the past few weeks, today felt pretty easy.

    I must say, you Seattle area kids are well-represented on this post (and most others, too!) Do you travel the blogsophere in roving packs? LOL

  9. i went to look at the cake wrecks, they were so bad! lol happy April fools day:)

  10. DD ~ I know, they were true wrecks! Especially that hideous "magician's tophat" groom's cake and the fettucini-pizza cake with pink frosting! Gagamundo!

    Did you get pranked yesterday? We need to watch out for Rose next year! :-)

  11. What cool illusions! I would love to have been out there on the street in Denmark when they were putting up that elaborate trick. Can you imagine the passersby wondering what the heck they're doing with half of a subway car and a truck full of bricks?

    I don't think I've ever played a big April Fools joke on anyone. Of all the days to do it, April Fools would be the hardest since people are expecting it. Still, now I'm kind of disappointed Rose isn't on her way to Hawaii. That sounds like fun! It certainly beats our lingering winter weather.

  12. The poodle is so cute!
    I wanted to stop by and thank you for the link to that video, it was just the kind of thing that I like, and it meant so much to me that you knew that! It was very sweet, thanks.

  13. Laloofah -- I guess I have to get with it. Since I've grown older I really don't play April Fool jokes on anyone. Did when I was a young girl. But it's never too late and next year I will think of a good one to play on someone. Enjoyed -- barbara

  14. Cadry ~ I know, wouldn't that have been something to see? I wonder who came up with the idea and what the reactions were of the first uninformed people to see it after it was completed! :-)

    Rose didn't have any trouble fooling me with her spoof Hawaii trip! I was too distracted and Rose is too angelic, so I'd lowered my April Fool's Day defenses and was totally bamboozled by her. :-)

    Gilding Lilies ~ I love that poodle and her bowl of kibble, which I'm thinking is made of red bell pepper. Can't make out what the kibbles might be, though - coriander seeds, maybe?

    I'm really glad you enjoyed that video, Jennifer! As I said, you're the person I thought of when I saw it.

    Barbara ~ Oh, that would make you the perfect April Fool's prankster - you'd be the last person anyone would suspect of nefarious trickery! And you have an entire year to plan something fiendishly clever. ;-) I'm glad you enjoyed my "foolish" post.

  15. Hey Tex-
    I'm a few days behind, but happy AFDay to you. I love those photos you shared-the one done in chalk is amazing and looks so real. And the train car smashing through-very cool.
    I most enjoyed your story of the black construction paper footprints. You were/are a creative being, yes indeed. I'm so delighted that our paths crossed and intertwined for a bit so I could share in that creativity.
    Hope all is well.

  16. Happy April Fool's Day. The ball/marble optical illusion was pretty cool. I've never seen the email about the Internet shutting down for Spring cleaning. That is funny. People create so many clever things.

    I've caught the Spring cleaning fever, though, and while I haven't declared war on my house yet, I've started the process. Now if I could only get my sons to catch it. LOL

  17. Great April Fool shots! LOL! One of my brothers got married on 1st April - hmmmm!!!

  18. Loved this post! Very funny and informative.

    Of course when I was little it was called "Poisson D'Avril" Thanks for the History link for finally explaining that because frankly, it's such a odd name for an April Fool's joke that I never did "get it" but now I do.

    I didn't really think that people would actually fall for the internet cleaning but when I read the bit about the phone lines thawing - I knew some would have fallen for that. How hilarious!!

    I played no tricks but got tricked really well with a tall tale by a co worker. After ranting for five minutes about the rediculous decision our leader's had made, I said "this has got to be a joke" and then it hit me, it was April 1st and it was a joke - but they had me going.

    Of course this whole gov't shutdown is the real April Fool's day "joke". My class for this week was cancelled because it took them all day Friday to pass a budget. A decision only a few hours earlier and I would have had my class!! The hours of wasted work we did to prepare for a possible shutdown was such a waste. Even Jim went to his UTA on Thursday only to have them cancel it on Friday since so many people travel Friday - they couldn't take a chance. So much waste!!!

    Hope things are going well at home - let me know if you have time to chat! But I understand if you can't.

  19. Sue ~ Oh, to be just a few days behind! I'd think I was ahead! :-) Thanks for visiting, even though I've been unable to reciprocate for so long!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures I shared, and appreciate your compliment about my creativity (which has felt decidedly stymied of late). I'm glad our paths crossed too! :-)

    Lori ~ I agree, there is a lot of creativity on display out there. Fun to find it, isn't it?

    I hope you managed to spread your Spring Cleaning Fever to your sons, and will soon be sitting back with a glass of lemonade (or the refreshing beverage of your choice), enjoying a sparkling house with warm spring breezes drifting gently in through your windows! :-)

  20. Barbara ~ Thanks!

    That's funny about your brother - how's that date working out for them as a wedding anniversary so far? At least it's memorable, but I'd always be wondering if my spouse had only been fooling when he said "I do!" :-) My parents got married on Apr 2, but waiting a day didn't help them out any!

    Jo ~ I'm glad I was able to provide an explanation for the whole French fish reference for you! :-)

    I know that you always enjoyed AF Day, but that you were usually the prankster instead of the pranked! I was amused at your story of the tables being turned, and bet your trickster co-workers were tickled with their success. LOL

    I knew that whole "will they or won't they" crap with the government shutdown would come right down the the wire. Call me a cynic, but politicians seem to love manufacturing drama and the attention it brings them, and I think we're being constantly played. Never like hearing about the waste, but know it goes on well beyond what we even know about, even without the hijinks of the "budget debate." And I'm utterly appalled and disgusted that the Rocky Mountain wolves are paying such a price, as if delisting and slaughtering wolves has anything to do with reducing the deficit or balancing the budget (or science or ethics, for that matter!) It was ugly politics at its worst and it makes me sick.

    As you know, things are going so-so at home. We need time, good weather and conscientious contractors to make things better, and all three are in short supply these days! Wish our phone chats weren't in such short supply lately too. It's just a rough patch right now.

    Thanks for stopping by with your fun comment! Maybe next year you can prank your co-workers! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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