Don’t you love April Fool’s day?
It’s a day where your dad will annoyingly repeatedly tell you that your shoe-laces are undone because it was considered hilariously funny in his school playground.
And a day where every newspaper will run a story about an Italian scientist, Filopo Lar (April Fool) who has discovered blue bananas – scientific name, Floriapol (April Fool) – after being given one by a talking monkey called Poollifra (April Fool) on a newly discovered island off the Norfolk coast called Frilapool (April Fool).
I often think these stories would work better without the giveaway anagram.
But how did April Fool actually, start?
Apparently, there was a writer for a regional newspaper who couldn’t find any inspiration for a story that week, so the editor asked him to call the emergency services regarding any stories about cats being stuck up trees.
Sadly, there wasn’t but the writer, feeling mischievous, created a story that a cat, had indeed, got stuck up a gnarled, old, rotting, ugly tree.
He wrote that it had been chased by an over-zealous dog which had also climbed the tree after the cat and got stuck too. Worse, the owner of the dog had climbed the tree to rescue his dog but also got stuck on the same branch.
A fire engine arrived at the scene and a fireman was dispatched up a ladder that was marginally too short and he had to be helped up onto the branch by the dog owner.
At which point the cat and dog leapt off the branch to safety and the dog owner fell, hitting every branch on the way down from the ugly tree and consequently lost his good looks. So much so, that his dog didn’t recognise him when he called to him, became scared and ran off.
The cat stayed and called his feline friends to help (they reportedly said “Me? How?”) and they gathered around the bottom of the tree and formed a nice soft blanket for the fireman to jump onto and land safely, without losing any of their combined 117 cat lives.
Going stupidly unchecked, the whole ridiculous story got published on April 1st. And the writer’s name?