You might want to inspect your morning cereal or re-read your e-mail with a skeptical eye this Sunday, because the fools are back.  April 1st is April Fools Day, and the most impish of us are already making their plans.  Whether this holiday is one of your favorites or just a forgettable nuisance, it’s still on the calendar and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Unfortunately, we can’t really save your breakfast or your dignity either, but we can help you understand all the tomfoolery.  Read on and learn to forgive – or exact your revenge.

The Encyclopedia of American Folklore informs us that, in the beginning, we were all fools.  Hilaria, the ancient Roman festival of the vernal equinox, acknowledged that most of us are left a little confused (read crazy) by the seasonal fluctuations, and the Feast of Fools (dating from the Middle Ages) encouraged us to filter that frustration into “rule breaking and irreverence.”  The first observance occurred in late March, but the modern holiday falls on April 1, and anybody who has missed that memo may end up with a “kick me” sign taped to their back.  (Yes, it’s true!  Read your encyclopedia.  And watch your back).

So, what do our local fools have up their sleeves?

A search in the Naperville Sun won’t reassure you.  Apparently, you may be subject to fake lottery tickets, piping hot showers, and tongue-dyeing gum.  If you’re heading into the city, the Chicago Sun-Times warns that some top chefs won’t serve you exactly what’s on the menu (beware the “woolly pig”).  The worst pranks, though, are always aimed at your good-natured gullibility.  Don’t believe Google when they promise you a new miracle app.  Last year in China it was teleportation.

So, what is there to do?  Heck, we’re just your librarians.  Blame the weather for your salty cereal and your failed phonebooth trip to China – or come hide at the library.  Maybe you’ll find your perfect comeback.