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Wednesday, March 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 121

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April Fools' Day origins involves seafood

Wendy M. Miller

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. " -- Mark Twain 

Ever wonder about the origin of April Fools' Day? In 16th century France, the start of the new year was observed April 1. Pope Gregory, however, in 1562 introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, with the new year beginning January 1. 

There were some people who had not heard or did not believe the change in the date. They continued, therefore, to foolishly celebrate New Year's Day on the first day of April. 

This date in modern day France is called Poisson d'Avril. French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their backs. When the naïve young fool finds it -- the prankster yells, "Poisson d'Avril!" (which means April Fish.) 

My friend Eva played an April Fools' trick on her boyfriend that was one of the best I had found in years. I do not pretend to exactly recall the events of that evening, but here is my story. 

As Rick was arriving home from work, Eva was waiting for him on the lawn. She appeared to be waving something anxiously in the air. As he came closer, she confronted her long-time partner with a small white stick that had a bright blue dot on the end of it. She informed him that she believed she was pregnant. 

The seemingly in-control Rick asked Eva if she was sure (perhaps he assumed it was a hoax because it was April 1). She told him in an emotion-filled voice that she honestly did not know. She explained how the birth control kit's instructions were confusing and she might have done it incorrectly. She then pointed to a new kit in a drugstore bag beside her feet. 

He replied that another test had to be done immediately. He ceremoniously led her and the new kit inside the house to the bathroom door. Obviously, he had decided with the voices in his head that he was not going to believe a possible pregnancy until he saw the blue dot appear for himself. 

He read the directions of the kit in the manner befitting a sovereign reading a declaration of war. He handed her the indicator strip and Eva entered the closed bathroom door. 

Hm-m-m. If only he had peeked inside door number one, he would have discovered Eva's very-pregnant conspirator awaiting the new test. 

Eva returned to the living room with the strip and the two sat on the couch. It should be noted that Rick spent the next few minutes acting like a dead man walking. I am sure that it took everything in Eva not to laugh. The moment arrived and the undeniable blue circle had emerged. After waiting for the reaction on his face, Eva revealed the harmless prank. 

On a serious note, as my article closes, I need to make closure of a different nature. Thursday night, I lost my Daddy Joe to lung cancer. He is one of my heroes and that will never change. He has been an inspiration on earth to me -- one of the precious few who freely gave me TLC. I never had to earn his love, but I worked anyway to make him and my family proud. 

Life granted me inspiration of a higher power March 23. Daddy Joe has joined my league of guardian angels. Memories of him - along with the ones of my dad, my grandparents, Eva's grandmother Maw, and one of my best high school friends, Scotty Dingess - will forever remain in my heart. 

For those of you that sent e-mails in response to my March 22 article, I have not felt up to replying to many of them. Please do not consider my silence as rudeness. Your sentiments touched me. I want you to know that I thank you and will reply as soon as possible. 

Miller, a junior philosophy major, 
can be reached at knightsdream@hotmail.com.

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