Reading 31 March-6 April 2013 (ZiR)
Fritz Tucker, Zeteo Associate Editor
[One in an ongoing series of posts. For the full series see Zeteo is Reading.]
On my recent trip to San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma Counties–or what I, as a New Yorker, call upstate San Fran–I came across this funny sign in Point Reyes. From the picture it looks like the NO BARKING is a typo, or a graffiti alteration, particularly in light of the NO PARKING ANY TIME sign above. But people, including myself, were parking there with no problem.
I like to think that it used to be illegal to park there. Then, when it was legalized, somebody decided to add to the sign, rather than subtract, making the P a B. The NO BARKING sign would imply YES PARKING, while simultaneously reminding dog-owners that their pets’ sounds can be unpleasant.
1 April 2013
Here are some highlights from the Wikipedia entry for April Fool’s Day:
“Iranians play jokes on each other on the 13th day of the Persian new year… which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, celebrated as far back as 536 B.C… is the oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today[, leading] many to believe that April Fools’ Day has its origins in this tradition.”
“Under the Joseon dynasty of Korea, the royal family and courtiers were allowed to lie and fool each other, regardless of their hierarchy, on the first snowy day of the year.”
“In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages.”
“Precursors of April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25.”
And of course, there’s Holi. When I was in Nepal, a friend of mine went to interview some Maoists, not knowing that anybody who steps foot outside on Holi is a legitimate target to be color-bombed. Upon walking through an alleyway, everybody poked their heads out the window and drenched him, ruining his phone and notebooks.
All of these traditions are a nice, fun capper to a week of celebrating the hurried making of not-delicious food while running from Pharaoh, and the lynching and resurrection of everybody’s favorite Israeli/Palestinian martyr.