Saturday, April 01, 2006

первое Апреля Никому не Веря! At First April Don't Believe Anybody!

I know that this holiday is not exclusively Russian and people from other countries celebrate it too, but still decided to drop a few lines about today's jokes.

On the TV today - on the RTR channel early morning news program, the anchorman told with a serious face that starting with second of April, the RTR channel is going to broadcast all its programs with a 3-D effect. He suggested that people should buy special glasses at the local stores in order to fully enjoy this effect. He also added that those who don't want to buy glasses can make them by themselves. For this purpose, they need to buy two plastic juice bottles of green and yellow color, cut out their bottoms, shape them like glasses and enjoy. After that he switched to the news. My grandma, totally excited by this opportunity, rushed to my Dad, asking him to make such glasses for her! Now I can see how thousands of Russian pensioners are running to the stores tomorrow, getting juice, making glasses, and waiting for the miracle :)

Several hours later, my Dad had told me that his medical assistant asked for an urgent vacation and I had to replace her for a week. Now, the last time I gave somebody a shot was kindergarden and my patient was a teddy-bear!

I've asked my parents to tell me more about the jokes they had done during this day in other times. (Wally's note: Sergei is a great prankster ... can I say "реальный шутник"?)

Dad told me about one guy, let's name him Ivan, who had an enemy at work. He was thinking for revenge for a long time and finally came up with a perfect one. During several months he secretly was adding gasoline to his victims car. Poor guy thought that his car stopped using any gas, it was a miracle! After 1 month he decided to share this information with somebody and told about it to his friends and wife - nobody believed, of course. About 3 months later he went to visit doctor - volunteered that he thought that he was going mad. That's a good revenge!
Addendum: More Russian April Fool's Jokes, added by Wally (not to spoil Katerina's post, but to supplement it with the great richness of Russian humor ... how does that sound, dear?)

From an almost ancient April 2, 1994 Richard Boudreaux article, "In Russia, April Fools' Day Hoaxes Compete with the Actual News," Los Angeles Times, a list of famous (or infamous) Russian April Fool's Jokes:

  • The Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported that an alcoholic beverage company had invented a new kind of candy sure to be a favorite with the Russian people: chewy Vodka Bars. These bars, designed to compete with Mars and Snickers bars, would come in three flavors—lemon, coconut, and salted cucumber. The same company was also said to be perfecting another new product: instant vodka in tea bags.
  • "Vesti," a popular evening television news program, announced that Russia's collective farms were "97% ready" for spring planting. As it announced this it showed in the background a picture of tractors rusting in a snow-covered field.
  • The newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that Mikhail Gorbachev had volunteered to test a revolutionary new anti-baldness spray. As a result he had sprouted a new head of hair, covering his famous birthmark. Accompanying the article was a picture of Gorbachev on a trip to South Korea sporting his new, curly-locked look.
  • The Moscow Tribune went out onto the streets of Moscow to ask people what they thought about the ethnic cleansing in Brutistan. They received a variety of concerned replies. The joke was that Brutistan does not exist.
  • Another news agency reported that workers at a meatpacking plant were being paid in sausages, because the plant had run out of cash. Workers' pensions were being paid with bones.
  • Elsewhere it was announced that the pro-Communist Agrarian party had been breeding insects that were trained to attack the new private farms while leaving the collective farms alone.
  • A newspaper reported that the chemical arms industry was making progress in its conversion to civilian business. Its first product would be spray-on tights.
  • Another paper said that foreign capitalists were bringing double-decker buses to Moscow. If the experiment went well, they would introduce triple-decker buses next.
  • The radio station Echo Moscow revealed that the ultranationalist, fascist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky had switched allegiances and become a reformer.
  • The newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta revealed that Zhirinovsky had actually been kidnapped by Freemasons who had cut his tongue off.
  • The paper Komsomolskaya Pravda interviewed Gosha, the parrot of former Vice President Alexander V. Rutskoi. Rutskoi had been arrested for his involvement in the previous year's armed rebellion but had since been released from prison. The parrot reportedly squawked, "Let them make soup out of me, but I won't let my master run for president. It is better to sit in a cage than in the Kremlin."
  • Komsomolskaya Pravda also reported that the famous red communist star that adorns the roof of the Kremlin was being removed, to be replaced by the imperial double-headed eagle that had been there until Stalin ordered its removal in 1935. Because the paper published this story a day early, many readers missed the joke and flooded the Kremlin with calls.
Finally, I'll add the following little account told to me by Katja. I had said that Sergei was a great joker ... here is another of his stories. Long-time readers might remember the Andreyeva family neighbor, Alexander ... he of the maximum chai. Seems that as an April Fool's joke last year, Sergei got some of these empty plastic wine bags, the kind that line the cardboard boxes of wine that you buy in a store. He blew two up and capped them tightly, and placed them under the rear tires of good neighbor Alexander's car. When Alexander backed up the next morning ... BANG! they popped, rather loudly ... leaving Alexander in a short panic to see what was wrong with his car!

For those seeking wisdom as to the origins of April's Fool, I can only refer you to the Straight Dope.


1 comment:

hamesha: said...

Where would be a good place to read on the origins on this day... I was forwarded an email recently that tied it to -incredibly enough- Ottoman empire origins...?!