The Etiquette Lady Takes on April Fools Day

Your homework from last week was to try Mrs. Spit's patented personal question strategy? How did you do? Buttons to those who tried it. I'd love to hear your results in the comments.

This Week:
As some of you may have noticed, today is April Fools. (And for what it's worth, the inside of your monitor is not building up negative ions and experiencing micro-etching, but the pug is really cute).

I thought it might be worth it to be tackle April Fools, given the day. Accordingly, here are the etiquette lady rules for a polite celebration of April Fools.

Rule Number 1: Know When it Ends.

Celebration of April Fools ends at 12:00 p.m. No more jokes after this. While you may allow any "unsprung" jokes to play out, no new jokes. And for pity's sakes, if they haven't been sprung by the end of the day, spring them yourself. What's funny on the morning of April 1, isn't funny on April 15.

Rule 2: Maintain People's Dignity and Property.

Obviously a joke is made at the expense of someone. That's fine. But, jokes about race or colour or gender or physical ability aren't funny. They're bigoted and intolerant. Jokes that destroy property that is not your own are not funny. Jokes that poke at a sensitive spot or person are in poor taste. Consider the affect on the person as much as the humour, and judge accordingly. If in doubt, consult a good friend. Consider all the angles.

Rule 3: Be a Good Sport

Let's face it, you know what the day is, even if you forgot and left yourself open. If you really don't like the day, warn people well in advance. Consider staying home.

Obviously, at some point, someone is going to pull a prank on you. Laugh at it. Consider it a bit of an honour - obviously someone was thinking of you. Enjoy the cleverness of the prank, even though you are it's victim. Be a good sport.

Rule 4: Plan Well

I'm not sure what's worse, a bad sport, or a joke that doesn't play out correctly. If you are going to plan a joke, plan it well, and remember what my father used to say - KISS, Keep it Simple, Stupid.

Next Week:

How to get yourself gracefully out of a rude conversation.