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Ten mistakes

Thursday, April 1, 2010

You have probably already heard that this is April Fool's Day. In honor of that event my column today will have ten mistakes either in spelling, punctuation, or false information. I don't have a prize for the person who finds all ten errors, but I have a word of warning for anyone who finds more than ten. If you find more than ten I want you to know that the computer acted up somehow and caused the mistakes. It couldn't have been my fault.

Since April First is on a Thursday this year, the teachers will have the worst time of it since the pupils always like to get their teacher in an April Fool joke. The common "Your shoe's untied" will be used over and over in many classrooms.

There is controversy over whether it is April Fool's Day or April Fools' Day. It has not been decided if one April fool owns the day, or if there are quite a few April fools who call this their day.

A man named Joseph Boskin who was a professor of history at Boston University explained that during the reign of Constantine a group of court jesters told the Roman emperor that they could do a better job of running the empire that he was doing. Therefore Constantine allowed a jester named Kugel to be king for one day. Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that day and the custom became an annual event. You see the fools were really wise men and their role of jesters put things in perspective with humor.

This was even put in the newspapers by the Associated Press. But they were really made to be the victims of an April Fools' joke. Mr. Boskin made the whole thing up.

The French people call April 1, "Poisson d'Avril", or April Fish. The children tape a picture of a fish on the back of their classmates and then call out, "Poisson d'Avril".

I have mentioned some jokes that have been played on or by our family on some earlier years, but the memory I cherish most strongly is the year that I caught my father lying on his back under my sister Ellen's and my bed tying the bed sheets to the springs of the bed. The sheepish grin on his face when I spotted him was priceless. I guess he had never learned how to short-sheet a bed. That was one of the tricks I used to play on housemates in college. For those of you who don't know about such niceties, you take the top sheet and tuck it in nicely under the pillows and then bring the bottom half of the sheet up with room to turn it back over the blankets. If the sides are tucked in tightly no one can get in the bed because the feet get only half way down before reaching the folded sheet.

It really is more work than it is worth, but I am sure that somewhere today someone will use that trick again.

Now, back to this essay today. How many of you found the ten mistakes? Did you look closely enough to find each of them? It was rather hard for me to type those mistakes because I usually proofread as I go. If you haven't found all ten of them, don't work too hard at it, because I didn't put ten mistakes in the column. If you found ten, then I am the April Fool, because my purpose was to catch you in yet one other joke today.

Editors note: In the spirit of Carolyn's column today, no corrections were made to her column. Good luck.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus