Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 236 - April Fools Joke = Justifiable Emotional Abuse?

April 1st, 2010

Taco Bell has announced that they have purchased the Liberty Bell from the city of Philadelphia and they will be changing the name to the “Taco Liberty Bell”.

April Fools y’all!

I’m awesome.

On April 1st, 1996, Taco Bell took out a full page ad in the “New York Time’s" (and six other leading U.S. newspapers) announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell".

Thousands of people protested before the deception was revealed at noon on April 1st. Taco Bell sales shot up half a million dollars the first week of April.

The spork friendly chain restaurant (that squirts sour cream out of an abnormally grandiose piece of metal machinery) was successful in pulling off this elaborate hoax.

Was it admirable? Or mean? Let’s go with # 2.

Often the purpose of partaking in an April Fools “joke” is a justifiable excuse to take an action (usually layered with conscious or subconscious malicious intent) that could leave the recipient feeling confusion, anger and distress.

You know what else has the same affect? Emotional abuse. If a=b and b=c then April Fools jokes = Emotional abuse.

Here’s why:

• April Fools pranks and emotional abuse can both be subtle. An effective April Fools hoax is telling your fiancĂ©, “I still have flashbacks from being stuck in a well.” The subtlety is achieved when delivering the news in a causal scenario. Like at your wedding.

• Emotional abusers isolate you so you're reliant on them. The abuser discourages you from spending time with friends and family. On April 1st, be careful when someone tells you that he/she has planned a crab bake with all your friends and family. Just to celebrate you…then they exclaim, “April Fools Day mother fucker! Now make me a sandwich!”

• Often the abuser won’t acknowledge your value or worth. They degrade, insult, ridicule, yell, swear or publicly humiliate you. Every day is April 1st to Bill O'Reilly.

So, please, steer away from April Fools jokes like the following:

- Don’t tell people that Facebook is going away.

- Don’t pay the “New York Times to create a false headline that reads, “World War III. Underway!”

- Don’t tell your child that he is adopted…when you just stole him.

You’ll just be hurting people. And yourself.

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