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According to local historians, the origin of April Fools jokes goes back to 1623 and a Hungarian court jester, Miklós Móka, who encouraged peasants to play little tricks on the nobility. For years it was common to send young children off to the shops to buy mosquito fat, umbrella seeds, or violin keyboards. Today, mild jokes are the norm.
Sometimes, of course, the jokes fall flat. This year (2007), a journalist in Somogy County caused panic when he wrote an “April Fools” article about a new bridge set to open tomorrow. According to the article, the bridge, which was constructed over a wide valley, had collapsed in the middle. As an extra punch-line, he included a doctored photo.
Today, he’s being threatened with court action. Alas, who will get the last laugh?