The Situation Room – Politically correct or not, is it time to end April Fool’s Day?

Mac Olsen
The jokes and stunts that some people pull on others on April Fools Day are supposed to be good fun, but it may be time to end that tradition.

Granted, April 1 isn’t a national holiday and I’m not one for political correctness in certain manners. But some jokes that are pulled do not have a place in today’s society.

For instance, the Town of Peace River’s website had an April Fool’s joke that the municipality was considering turning the Peace River bridge into a toll bridge.

That certainly got my attention as being a real possibility. But I learned later that it was only an April Fool’s joke.

Still, I find the idea of any talk of making the public pay for infrastructure like a toll bridge causes consternation. Given all the taxes that Canadians have to pay to the various levels of government, joking about a toll bridge isn’t something I like. That’s where I think political correctness has to kick in.

There is another reason I have an issue with April Fool’s Day. The day April 1, 1999 was the day my mother passed away and she was only 55 years old.

So April Fool’s Day is no joke to me. April 1 will always be a reminder of her passing. That is all.

But the enterainment industry enjoys using April 1 in various ways.

You can look back to a M*A*S*H episode in 1980. In that episode, Colonel Potter is absolutely adamant that Hawkeye, B.J., Houlihan and Winchester are not to play any jokes on each other. This is because Potter is expecting a high-ranking army physician, Colonel Tucker (played by Pat Hingle), to be dropping in for an inspection. The last thing Potter needs is a his prime medical staff pulling shenanigans while Colonel Tucker is there.

However, things don’t go Potter’s way, as Tucker catches the four of them pulling jokes on each other. Tucker’s not one for lax discipline, especially from Hawkeye and company. Tucker makes it very clear that he can have all of them court-martialed for their shenanigans. And that’s exactly what he intends to do.

So, Hawkeye and the others have a meeting and decide that if they’re going to be court-martialled, then they might as well make it worth Tucker’s while. Hawkeye decides that they will pull a joke on him, that it will be the grandest of all.

Near the end of the episode, Potter and Tucker go into the officer’s club for a drink. There, Potter is asked to leave their table. Then Hawkeye pulls a rope, which drops a bucket of water on Tucker.

Hawkeye and the others laugh about it and Tucker starts to get up, but then he appears to have a heart attack. Hawkeye and the others come to his rescue. But then Tucker announces “April Fools.”

It turns out that Potter and Tucker had planned out their April Fools joke on Hawkeye and company weeks in advance. Hawkeye says that they were standing in front of greatness and concede to Tucker.

So, April Fools Day can be humourous, but there are politically correct bounds beyond which it should not go.

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