Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 03.28.08
Stanstead, Quebec


April Fool's Day or Poisson d'Avril – your choice but it's happening today, eh?

STANSTEAD, QC | I'm very much a traditionalist when it comes to holidays. I like turkey at Christmas, alcohol poisoning on St. Patrick's Day, and vague political tension on Canada Day.

That being said, I completely support the Bush administration's decision to hold April Fool's Day on March 28 this year in an effort to save the floundering economy and foundering flounders.

There's no faulting the logic. As the Bushies have pointed out, laughter is the best medicine, and that goes for the ailing economy as well. (And, as a bonus, laughter's not covered by most health insurance plans). Give people a good laugh, even at their own expense, and the endorphins will flow, they'll feel happy.

And what do happy people do? They go shopping! And shopping solves everything!

In other words, don't want no recession? Then don't be so depressin'!

This link between goodhearted pranks and a healthy economy was firmly established in 2003 by the Finger Pulling Institute in their comprehensive study, "Free market dynamics within the social parameters of the rubber chicken."

Plus, the US is hoping that the joke-oriented, slapstick nature of April Fool's Day will boost the novelty item industry, which has been flat since the notorious Fake Vomit Scare of August 2006 shut down the US Postal Service for three days.

"All very good," say some critics. "All very well," say other critics. Grammar aside, they all ask, "Couldn't this be accomplished by holding April Fool's Day on April 1 as usual? Why move it to March 28?"

Silly critics! Always so critical. Will they never learn accept the divine infallibility of the Bush vision? A custard pie in the face of the lot of them.

What they don't understand is that the US economy (and by association the world economy) is in crisis now, right now, and that a few more days will be too late, resulting in the immediate need to stop the precipitous slide that could lead to a run on banks, a run in favourite stockings, and run-on sentences.

Plus, this 11th hour boost prior to the end of the quarter will allow the revitalized economy to head for the dressing room ready to get back in the game and give 110 percent in the second half. Because we came here to play! And to import cheap Chinese goods!

If that's not enough for the critics (those kill-joys, so negative, so anti-prank in the first place), it should be pointed out that there exists a precedent for moving April Fool's Day from April 1.

In 1911, Pope Pius X suffered terrible humiliation when Easter Sunday happened to fall on April 1 and a junior speechwriter named Florio Pontolli replaced the Pope's Vatican message with a joke-laden alternative. The result: headlines worldwide declaring, "Pope Prays for Pizza."

To prevent the two holidays from ever coinciding again, the Vatican devised a formula - albeit a complicated one - that declared that "should Easter fall on the Sunday after the Feast of Saint Flabbius the Squalid, then April Fool's Day shall fall on the second Friday after the fractal moon, barring the possibility that the swans of Karachi have failed to molt, in which case, April Fool's Day shall be celebrated on the Feast of Saint Harpo the Honking."

Of course, this being a Roman Catholic edict, it was not universally embraced, which, of course, led to April Fool's Day being celebrated on different days by different religions and, ultimately, Northern Ireland's unfortunate Whoopee Cushion Massacre of 1973.

But still the precedent is there in history, so the critics should just grin and bear it. (Or better still, they should be tickled until they tinkle. Honestly, I have no patience for these critics.)

Consequently, if you love the economy and short-sheeting as much as I do, please do your part this March 28, April Fool's Day. I urge you to go out and buy some toilet paper to wrap up a co-worker's cubicle, stock up on thumbtacks to put on their seat, oh! and tarantulas! Tarantulas are always good for a laugh and a half.

But what about the foundering flounders I mentioned at the top? Where do they come in? Well, fish are always funny. Buy one to slap a critic.