There are many ways to play the fool this April Fool’s Day, and we’ve found a tee for each! Some aspects of the holiday trace back to Roman traditions, as well as medieval feasts celebrating the vernal equinox. The commemoration was even suggested in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, but the actual date of the celebration’s origin is debated—perhaps lost in translation. And maybe that is the ultimate April Fools!
The media sometimes releases April Fool’s news stories, but these tees are for real—no foolin’! Here are 5 tees to play the fool this year:
I Pity the Fool
The most iconic pop culture mention of “the fool” was uttered by James “Clubber” Lang, AKA Mr. T in Rocky III. Now, this tagline is not really about pitying fools. It is more along the lines of taunting or contempt. I don’t think Mr. T had any actual pity. We do have a bit of pity for Mr. T though. In 2006, he turned his phrase into a reality show with the title—you guessed it—I Pity the Fool. Unfortunately for Mr. T, the TV Land show only lasted six episodes. This April Fool’s Day, don’t pity the fools–celebrate them!
Fools Rush In
This tagline, a word of warning perhaps, has become the chorus of a classic song covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Etta James, and Elvis. It was even the title of a 1997 Matthew Perry film. But the phrase has its origins in a 1709 poem by Alexander Pope: “Nay, fly to Altars; there they’ll talk you dead; / For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.”
Regardless of your favorite manifestation of the phrase, it still makes a nice tee. ‘Fools rush in’ plays on the idea that haste makes waste, but what if you know what you want? What if some fools just sit around waiting? We’re not suggesting that you jump into something blindly, but indecision and regret–what a bummer.
“Lord, what fools these mortals be”
This line in A Midsummer’s Night Dream is said by Puck, a fairy meddling in the lives of Athenian lovers. Let’s call his antics an early version of April Fools.
The classic theatrical portrayal of the fool dates to Roman times, but the fool character we know and love was perfected in the Shakespearean world. From Falstaff in Henry IV, to Touchstone in As You Like It, and to The Fool in King Lear, the fool, despite his bumbling and jester-like qualities, is usually making the most wonderful and perceptive arguments that the other characters are incapable of making. Despite their overpowering silliness, don’t ever dismiss the fools. They may have the most insight of all.
The Gilded Fool
FeS2 is its name, and fooling is its game. That’s right, we’re talking about iron sulfide, also known as iron pyrite, AKA fool’s gold. Let them know that you are discerning with this tee—you know that all that glitters is not gold. Although iron pyrite gets kind of a bad rep, it was used as an ignition source in 16th century firearms, as the cathode material in certain types of lithium batteries, and in different types of jewelry. It isn’t totally useless. But don’t mistake that flashing in your pan for gold and head out ‘Californy Way’ just yet! You’re no gilded fool!
The Tarot Fool
Sometimes, the world of tarot cards sheds a more positive light on playing the fool. Depending on what world of tarot you’re in, or on your deck type and country of origin, the meaning also changes. But generally, it’s not all bad for the fool. The fool, or Jester, is one of the 78 cards in the tarot deck, and is usually considered a wild card—a card of possibility.
He is often portrayed as a wanderer or drifter, with all his possession slung over his shoulder in a sack. Free to roam and wander. He travels, but being the fool, he’s often on a fool’s journey. The Jester is full of wonder and excitement, and is so quizzical that he does not see his journey is leading him to the cliff’s edge. Can you relate? Will the fool learn to heed warnings before it’s too late? Learn from this tee–don’t ever give up wonder, but always watch your step!
So, let the jokesters and hoaxers have their day, but don’t forget the fool. Happy April Fool’s Day t-shirt lovers. Our love of tees is no joke.