The Fishy History of April Fools’ Day… Not as Funny as George Noory

The funniest April Fool’s joke I’ve ever witnessed is when late night radio’s George Noory, interviewed three people who shared the same body. I think he said they were Siamese triplets. I’m so gullible, I believed it. My husband said, “It’s April Fools.” Once I knew it was a joke, it was hilarious to listen to well-meaning folks call in and tell the three characters how they admired them. I will say though, on my behalf, when George said that one of them was black, my mind was searching for a reason for that. The only thing I could think of was the story of the woman who gave birth to twins, one black and one white, so… could happen? A friend who is a psychiatrist, told me lovingly that I was not gullible but “trusting.”

The French think that an April fool is like a young, spring fish, easy to fool, easy to catch… poisson d’avril… April fish. The Scots call an April fool a gowk. A gowk is the same as a cuckoo bird, a bird the Scots believe is foolish. April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day didn’t arrive in Britain until the 1700s and traditionally it lasted only until noon. So who started it? It’s possible that April Fools’ day has its origins in spring equinox merriments and might be traced back to India and the spring feast of Huli, their fooling being the equivalent to the Europeans’. There is also a hint that All Fools’ day has a sinister origin and dates back to ancient Italy when women from the mountains were fooled into thinking that they were going to Rome to see the games, in honor of Neptune, the God of the sea. When they arrived, their virtue was robbed.

Today, millions of people enjoy an excuse to trick one another. I look forward to turning on the radio and seeing what George Noory has in store for his April Fool’s joke. Perhaps he’ll have the Siamese triplets hosting for him. Hope they don’t all talk at once.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:



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Suellen Ocean

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University, Suellen Ocean does her writing from the hills of Northern California. She began writing professionally for print and radio broadcasting in the late 1980's. Her first self-published book led to her becoming "officially" published, when in 1998 she was asked to participate in the anthology, "The Simple Life" through Berkley Books, New York. She is the author of sixteen books on diverse subjects.

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