Northwest Missourian Opinion

Today is the first Thursday in April, and you know what that means; it’s National Burrito Day. 

This year, unfortunately, National Burrito Day falls on the same day as the lousiest holiday of them all: April Fools’ Day. 

Today should be about finding the best deals on burritos, stuffing our faces with friends and regretting it later. Instead, the burrito celebrations will undoubtedly be overshadowed by a holiday that no one asked for. 

April Fools’ Day is one of those holidays people blindly go around celebrating without knowing why we celebrate it; that’s because historians don’t know for certain. We do know the holiday spread through Europe in the 18th century, where people were sent on phony errands and played pranks on others. Most people disliked the holiday back then, yet for some reason, the ludicrous traditions have continued to be embraced for 300 years.

April 1 rolls around and all of a sudden everyone thinks they are comedians. It’s like April Fools’ Day is a free pass for terrible jokes. 

There are no funny April Fools’ pranks.

This holiday has gone on for hundreds of years, and the fun is worn out. The pranks have been done and then imitated so many times that the bar for April Fools’ pranks is scraping the ground. 

What’s on the list this year? Wrap someone’s belongings or a car with something? Plastic wrap has been done. Sticky notes are so 2015. Maybe this year we’ll go back to toilet paper. I haven’t gone one year without seeing “April Fools’!” written in car paint on someone’s windows, sometimes spiced up with a phallic symbol. From a balloon-filled room to a ringing phone in a ceiling tile, the April Fools’ pranks are hackneyed. 

At best, these pranks are mildly inconvenient. Do people laugh when they get pranked on April Fools’? No, it’s, “oh you got me,” and that’s the end of it, unless you have to spend the next hour unwrapping plastic wrap from your desk supplies or popping balloons. 

Also, what’s the point of setting a day for pranking people? Part of what makes pranks work is they are performed on unsuspecting victims. If everyone is aware they could be pranked one day, then half the fun is taken out of the prank. Even if someone has a great prank or joke, it’s automatically worse just because it’s done on April Fools’.

Despite my cynicism toward April Fools’ Day, I enjoy a good prank, just on literally any other day of the year. Maybe April Fools’ is simply a good excuse to interrupt the monotony of everyday life, but if that’s the only reason we keep it around, then April Fools’ Day should be a day where some workers get the day off and schools are closed. 

I wonder if the pandemic will have any effect on the holiday this year. Are people so desperate for entertainment after being cooped up for months that we will see an increase in pranks? Or do we all agree that after the year we’ve had, we just aren’t in the mood.

Whether you plan to embrace April Fools’ festivities or not, don’t let the absurdity of the day distract you from the holiday we should all be appreciating this April 1: National Burrito Day.

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