In this document I will discuss April Fool’s Day and various other pranks. Your mission, which you must choose to accept, is to figure out what all this has to do with Spider Solitaire.
As is well known, April the 1st is the day for pulling off pranks against people who were not born with the awesome gene. When I was in High School, my Geography teacher once wrote the date as 29th of October which wasn’t even close to the correct date. At least one student fell for it. Fast forward to the last decade and I once boasted about scoring over 600 in a single game of Scrabble, but I failed to produce any evidence the game was real. There was no mention of my actual score, plenty of phonies such as ETEARIO* instead of ETAERIO and OT* (a very common two-letter phony when someone isn’t paying attention!). The best giveaway was FOOLISHLY on a triple word with only the “Y” connected to the rest of the board. Therefore, this play is mathematically impossible unless someone had eight letters on their rack without opponent noticing – not to mention FOOLISHLY is an appropriate word for any prank involving today’s date.
What makes an April 1st prank successful? I can think of the following criteria:
- The prank must be “detectable” e.g. if Joe Bloggs is alert it should be reasonably easy to spot the prank.
- There must be no serious repercussions for a potential victim whether he is switched on or not. If your father ends up in hospital after opening what he thought was a can of beer then your prank was NOT successful.
In my Scrabble example, a switched-on person may notice the board has an abnormally large number of questionable decisions, indicating at least one player is deliberately playing below is true strength. But if the person is switched-off then that’s hardly gonna impact his Key Performance Indicators in the workplace.
We should also remind ourselves that all pranks have a use-by-date and April Fool pranks are no exception. After the initial laughs, we need some ingenuity to keep things fresh. A good analogy would be Rick-Rolling. It was “grudgingly-accepted-funny” the first time around and perhaps the second and third, but I can’t imagine any self-respecting comedian of today attempting a Rick-Roll without putting “a new twist on the theme”. One well-known example is the atrociously written high-school essay on Niels Bohr but my favourite Rick-Roll occurs in Grant Woolard’s Classical Music Mashup III, which you would have to google for yourself. Actually that was only my second-favourite. If you really really really really really really need to see my Absolute Favourite Rick Roll Of All Time then please click this link.
Happy pranking everyone!
2 thoughts on “Happy April Fool’s Day”
It was interesting to read this post about what does and does not qualify as a genuine, up-standing April Fool’s prank. It reminded me a bit of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacks_at_the_Massachusetts_Institute_of_Technology (I got my Ph.D. at MIT). In the context of our Spider group, I wondered what it might signify. There is only a single rather narrow line of communication connecting you in Australia to me and IMBug in North America. There is also only half a day where it is April Fool’s Day in both places, and a day and a half when one or the other of us is on that date. I didn’t see anything come over the line that sounded at all like it could be the realm for a prank. So I’ll assume you were writing this for your broader circle of Spider friends who read the blog. Or as an aside, since who says a blogger can’t digress now and then.
In case you can’t figure out what this has to do with Spider Solitaire, remember the wise words of Arthur Conan Doyle: “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” 🙂