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April Fools' Day愚人节的玩笑
2003年04月23日11:00:25 网易教育 


  The first of April is commonly known as April Fools' Day, and it is customarily on this day to play a trick on a friend. If your friend falls into the trap, then he or she is an April Fool.It isn't only children that like such jokes. Grownups like such pranks, too.

  Even the media occasionally try to deceive the public with a clever April Fool story. Some years ago, for example, a famous joke was played on the radio. A scientific correspondent reported that strange geological changes had resulted in weaker gravity in different parts of Britain. He asked listeners to jump up and down and see if they could jump higher than they normally could. Many people did. The hundreds of calls the BBC received proved how successful the hoax was. Not until twelve o'clock did the BBC gently remind its listeners it was April Fools' Day that day.

  Making jokes only lasts until the noon of the day, the rule is rigid and everywhere acknowledged. Anyone who tries to make a fool after midday is a bigger fool than he who has been fooled. The late trickster is instantly rebuffed.

  When did April Fool this custom start? According to a well-researched story of the origin of the day, it was started in 1545 by a rather unfortunate accident. A Norwegian scientist, Loof Lirpa, was staying in London, where he was trying to find the secret of how to fly.

  The scientist was eccentric, but there was no doubt that he was clever. It seems that his experiments were successful: King Henry VIII received a letter from Mr. Lirpa, in which he announced that he had finally solved the secret of flight. He asked the king to be present at a demonstration flight at Westminster on April 1.

  So the king and the leading politicians of the day stood ouside the Palace of Westminster on April 1, and waited for Mr. Lirpa to come flying past. But nothing happened-- and it became the tradition afterwards to play tricks on people in the same way on this day.

  However, evidence proved later that Loof Lirpa was not playing a trick: he was in fact telling the truth. He had learnt how to fly-- the reason that he didn't appear at Westminster was that his flying-machine had crashed into a tree, and he had been killed.It was a tragedy for science. The scientist, unfortu-nately, was very secretive. When he died, the secret died with him.

  Although most people in Britain haven't heard of Loof Lirpa, he is very famous in Norway. April 1 is a national holiday, and people remember his flying trip by having ski-jump competitions. Actually, "Loof Lirpa" wasn't his real name: if you say the two words backwards, you'll find out what his name really was - April Fool.


    4月1日是大家都知道的"愚人节"。这一天可以拿朋友开心。如果你的朋友上当了,他或她就是"四月的傻瓜"。

  不但孩子们喜欢开这种玩笑,大人们也一样喜欢。

  甚至新闻媒介有时也编造巧妙的故事欺骗公众。例如,几年前电台跟听众开了个大玩笑。一位报导科学新闻的记者说,由于奇怪的地质变化,英国各地区的重力减小了。这位记者让听众上下跳跳,看是不是比平常跳得高一些。许多人都照着做了。当成百上千的电话打到英国广播公司时,证明这场骗局成功了。直到中午12点时,英国广播公司才和蔼地提醒听众那一天是"愚人节"。

  但愚人节这天开玩笑只能开到中午12点之前。这是约定俗成的严格规矩。过了中午还找乐儿的人是一个比被他取笑的人还大的大傻瓜。过了钟点还开玩笑的人会立刻碰个钉子,自找没趣儿。

  愚人节的风俗源于何时呢?据一个多方考证的故事说,此风俗起源于1545年,是由一起不幸的事故引起的。挪威一位叫卢夫?勒尔帕的科学家当时住在英国伦敦,他想在那里找到飞行的秘密。

  这位科学家性格很古怪,但他无疑是很聪明的。他的飞行试验似乎是成功的,因为亨利八世国王收到了勒尔帕先生的信,信中说,他已找到了飞行的秘密,请国王于4月1日在威斯敏斯特宫看他的飞行表演。

  所以,到了4月1日那一天,国王和当时的主要政客都站在威斯敏斯特宫外,等待勒尔帕先生飞过。但是,勒尔帕没从宫外飞过--据此,演化出了这一天设骗局的传统。

  然而,后来才证实,卢夫?勒尔帕并没设骗局,实际上他说的是实话。他确已学会飞行,他没有出现在威斯敏斯特宫上空,是因为他的飞行器撞到了一棵树上,他本人也丧生了。

  这是科学史上的一个悲剧。遗憾的是,这位科学家保密太严了。他死的时候,他保守的秘密同他一块儿死去了。

  虽然大多数英国人没听说过卢夫?勒尔帕,但他在挪威却很有名。4月1日在挪威是个全国性的节日。人们用飞行滑雪比赛来纪念勒尔帕的那次飞行。

  实际上,"Loof Lirpa"(卢夫?勒尔帕)并非他的真姓名。如果你倒着念一下他的姓名,就会发现他的真名字是April Fool(四月的傻瓜)。

  

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