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Mark's Meanderings. by Mark Stoller

Do NOT act the fool 

Mark’s Meanderings 

Mark Stoller moved to Falcon in 2007. He and his wife, Andra, both U.S. Air Force veterans, enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark savors the privilege of his wife and daughters being his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate. 

Do NOT act the fool 

By Mark Stoller

By the time this edition hits the stand, April Fools’ Day will be over. As always, I like to dive into the meaning of the days we celebrate throughout the year. 

From, some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar per the Council of Trent agreement in 1563. The Julian Calendar, like the Hindu calendar, began the new year with the spring equinox, around April 1. 

News didn’t travel fast back then. Those who were unaware that the start of the new year had moved to Jan. 1 and continued to celebrate during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.” 

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool), followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

Today, it’s a day when practical and not-so-practical jokes are played on each other — often fueled by the quest for social media fame and glory.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fool as both a noun and a verb. 

Noun: a person lacking in judgment or prudence; an individual formerly kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in motley with cap, bells and bauble. 

Verb: to meddle, tamper or experiment especially thoughtlessly or ignorantly.

A great quote to remember when witnessing or performing an ignorant act is, “Oh no. Do NOT act the fool” (emphasized with great sass). 

This is a phrase I have heard my sister, Robin, often repeat from her time living in New Jersey. She explained to me that it’s a polite way of skipping over judgment, without laying out the sordid details of someone else’s stupidity, ie: “They acted a fool.”

This saying rings in my ears when driving the major roads of Falcon and Colorado Springs. With the population explosion out here, we are experiencing ignorant styles of driving and a complete lack of etiquette across the board. 

For those of you who believe it is your responsibility to lock your speed exactly on the posted speed limit to slow everyone else down — you run the risk of causing an issue that may end badly for you. There is an expectation and social norm that cars will proceed at least 5 or more miles above the limit. The next time you feel like you want to stick it to somebody while driving, remember, “Do NOT act the fool!”

It’s been 35 years since Mr. T coined the phrase “I pity the fool” as the antagonist boxer, Clubber Lang, in Rocky III. 

In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Mr. T stated, “When you pity someone, you’re showing them mercy. I didn’t start this pity stuff. It was in the Bible. You’ll find pity so many times in the Bible and fool so many times.” He added, “Lotta guys in the Bible (were) asking for pity. And then a lot of them were saying, I did a foolish act. So, I put ‘em together … pity the fool.”

But just because it’s biblical doesn’t mean it’s free for all to use. Mr. T has “I pity the fool” trademarked. He explained what will happen if it’s used in a commercial or elsewhere. “My people gonna be on ‘em,” Mr. T said. “Oh yeah. That’s part of Mr. T’s retirement fund.”

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About the author

Mark Stoller

Mark Stoller and his wife, Andra, moved to Falcon with their family in 2007. Both are U.S. Air Force veterans and enjoy life with their daughters, ex-tended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark is fortunate to have his wife and daughters as his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investi-gate.

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