Hey Eddie! Thanks a lot. I had a lovely quiet day at home with lots and lots of messages – way more than I deserve, as I remember only a few birthdays, so I say to them – as I say to you here – hope you have a wonderful day and year too! So many people remember my ruddy birthday. Can’t think why???
Spoke to Mother Mary on the day. She’s well. Also to the old goat, who pretended to hear what I was saying. Sisters Barbara and Sheila both phoned, and a host of others; a call from Janet in Botswana, a long call from Glen and Ali in Aussie, an even longer call from Larry in Ohio; people are amazing. Messages from all over. And all because I was lucky enough to be born on a highly suspicious day on the Gregorian calendar that people tell me is somehow appropriate to me!?
And guess what I found out yesterday for the first time in sixty six years? Mary said, “Yes, you made a fool of me that day. You arrived two days late. You were due on the 30th March.” First time I ever heard that! Who the hell would want to be born on the 30th March!?
I’m guessing as Mom’s recent grey cells die off, and she loses what happened yesterday or this morning, some of the ancient ones – up to ninety two years old – are getting a fresh look at daylight, being dusted off and telling their story? Maybe?
Thank goodness I waited those two days, incubating quietly and delaying getting out into the noise. My whole life would have been different if I hadn’t been born on the 1st April. Different; Less fun, I think.
“Yes, you made a fool of me that day. You arrived two days late. You were due on the 30th March.” Then, “Did I tell you that?” Poor dear Mom Mary repeated that surprise news in the same call, not three minutes after telling me the first time.
April 1, 1976: During an early-morning interview on BBC Radio, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced that at 9:47am that day a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur. Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, and this planetary alignment would temporarily counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity.
Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment the alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47am arrived, the station began receiving hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman reported that she and her friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
Moore had intended his announcement to be a spoof of a pseudoscientific theory that had recently been promoted in a book called The Jupiter Effect, alleging that a rare alignment of the planets was going to cause massive earthquakes and the destruction of Los Angeles in 1982.
The first one:
April 1, 1698: The earliest known record of an April Fool’s Day prank, as reported in Dawks’s News-Letter the following day: “Several persons were sent to the Tower Ditch to see the Lions washed.”
The joke was that there were no lions being washed in the Ditch – or moat – of the Tower of London. It was a fool’s errand.
For well over a century after this, the prank of sending unsuspecting victims to see the “washing of the lions” at the Tower of London remained a favorite April Fool’s Day joke. In the mid-nineteenth century, pranksters even printed up official-looking tickets that they distributed around London on April first, promising admittance to the non-existent ‘annual lion-washing ceremony’.
Anyone saying the worst April Fool joke ever was in 1955: Ha! Ha! I’ve heard that one before.