My top two favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and April Fools' Day, in that order.
I mean, what's not to love about Thanksgiving? You eat a lot of great food, drink heartily, and then spend the rest of the evening bickering with relatives who have terrible politics. Good times!
And April Fools' Day is right in my wheelhouse. I inherited an affinity for pranking, joshin', kiddin' or just plain foolin' from my old man, and this day celebrates those sorts of antics. And frankly, almost every year, I put a decent amount of planning into the holiday.
But there are people who try very hard, every year, to ruin my second favorite holiday. We all need to finally recognize there is a War on April Fools' Day, and the people who try to ruin the holiday I call the "April No-Foolers".
The "April No-Foolers" can be broken down into two groups.
Group 1 (the Not-Players) bemoan the existence of the holiday. They stay away from media, they stay offline, and they minimize human contact so as they won't get fooled again. Talk about your spoilsports!
These people intentionally try to miss out on the feeling you get - the moment of realization that you've been had: That delicious mix of, "ugh, I shoulda known better/I can't believe I fell for it/wait, it's April 1" that is so much fun. It's a holiday that celebrates belief, gullibility, and naivety in an era of jaded cynicism.
Not-Players are akin to the anti-irony crowd - you know the folks who like to proclaim and prematurely celebrate the end of irony every few years because they personally don't understand irony and feel they are victimized by it. They overreact. They make it all about them. And they try to poo-poo something relatively harmless that many others enjoy.
Group 2 (the Exposers) are the ones who, when they don't fall for it, have to ruin the joke for everyone else by pointing out they haven't fallen for it by pointing out it was a joke (instead of just waiting for April 2 and saying, "Oh yeah, I didn't fall for that").
These are the people who have to comment in posts, "Oh, April Fools!" Or "What day is this?" They proudly say/post/tweet/type things like "Oh, you didn't fool me for a second."
Well, congratulations, Sherlock. You are a genius. And yes, it's all about you. So let's all take a moment from this prank you just ruined for others to commend you on your powers of deduction.
The Exposers can be far more frustrating than the Not-Players because not are they just opting out, through their own need for validation, they are trying to ruin the joke for others who may fall for the prank.
Each year, I try to pull off a decent April Fools' joke. Admittedly, some are better than others. And I frequently have people who help me, for example, almost every year, my friend Dug has been a collaborator.
But it's especially disappointing to see several hours of planning and work ruined in a matter of seconds by the April No-Foolers. But they are also the reason why I continue doing it. It's not to fool the ones who are fooled easily, it's to get the No-Foolers or the Exposers.
Why? Because they are waging war on April Fools Day, and they are trying to spoil my second favorite holiday.
But they're easy to spot. And from now on, I'm going to call them on it (if I'm not too busy deleting their posts that ruin my pranks).
Oh, as for this year, April Fools!
Vote Benn Ray 2016!