愚人节玩笑

Special Focus - - Humor - 文 / 王辉云

每当提起愚人节玩笑,我总会想到牛西红柿的故事。

记得改革开放后,媒体介绍了一项轰动一时的科研成果——牛西红柿。说是德国一所大学的教授将西红柿的细胞同牛的细胞杂交,成功种植牛西红柿,其维生素 C 的含量比原来的西红柿高出几十倍,还富含高蛋白,是肉菜合一的优良品种。

这条消息在当时的中国引起不小的震动。那时候,国门刚刚打开,大家睁眼一瞧,嚯!和人家先进国家一比,咱真是落后一大截儿。咱这儿要吃牛肉西红柿,又得买西红柿又得买牛肉,还必须把两种东西炒成一盘菜。人家却合二为一,吃个西红柿,跟嚼酱牛肉似的,维生素和高蛋白全有了。要是大家都吃上这种西红柿,就不用养那么多牛啦。

为了尽快让全国人民吃上牛西红柿,据说,还有专业技术人员不远万里,专程前往德国拜访那位发明牛西红柿的教授,结果扑空。人家那里根本就没有这么个牛教授,后来才知道,那是英国的《新科学家》杂志制造的“愚人节”幽默。

这种幽默对刚刚经历过打鸡血、喝凉水、甩手疗法、饮红茶菌的国人来说,的确新鲜。《新科学家》杂志这么一忽悠,正经叫国人激动了好一阵子。

如果说牛西红柿一类的“谎言”愚弄了不太熟悉西方文化的中国大众,那么,生活在西方的人就有对愚人节玩笑的免疫力吗?回答是否定的。

西方人过愚人节,大多是借这个机会找乐子。拿名人开涮,让大众开心,是愚人节常有的节目。前些年,微软总裁比尔·盖茨就叫人涮了一把。

2002 年,加拿大魁北克省蒙特利

on April Fools’ Day. Af­ter some de­lib­er­a­tion they set­tled on Bill Gates. On the day, they called up Mi­crosoft head­quar­ters, claim­ing to be call­ing from the of­fice of the Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter, ask­ing that Mr. Gates pick up the phone to speak with Jean Chré­tien.

Gate’s as­sis­tant didn’t think any­thing par­tic­u­lar about it, and put them through to the big boss.

Gates, hear­ing that it was the Prime Min­is­ter of Canada call­ing, hur­riedly picked up the re­ceiver laugh­ing ner­vously. Although Gates is a wealthy and in­tim­i­dat­ing man, he still wouldn’t dare snub this kind of phone call. As soon as the call be­gan you could tell “Chré­tien” wasn’t very good at English, but he was mak­ing witty com­ments one af­ter an­other. The start­ing speak­ing about both coun­tries eco­nomic trends and moved to talk­ing about Wi­d­ows XP. Gates was both dazed and over­whelmed with praise. In the end “Chré­tien” even in­vited Gates to come visit Canada and he gladly ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion. What a priv­i­lege!

When Gates fi­nally set­tled down af­ter the phone call, he put on the news and saw that while he was sup­pos­edly hav­ing a chat, Chré­tien was in the mid­dle of a meet­ing with for­eign dig­ni­taries.

Dur­ing the 80’s for­eign Chi­nese stu­dents’ cars were all pretty rough. They were all the kind of cars where the horn didn’t make a sound, but every­where else did. The poor qual­ity of the cars meant that they caused a lot of prob­lems. If some­one’s car broke down on the side of the road, their class­mates would feel al­most duty- bound to go to the scene straight away and help out.

One af­ter­noon, a friend of mine called say­ing that his car had bro­ken down in Chicago and told me to hurry up and come help. I put down the phone, and with­out even think­ing about it, drove straight there. I went to the place he told me but I didn’t see any sign of cars or peo­ple, so I drove around the block to see if I could see any­thing.

Driv­ing around the area, I felt like some­thing wasn’t right. I tried fig­ur­ing out what the day was, and re­al­ized that it was April Fools’ Day. I sud­denly re­al­ized what was hap­pen­ing and I didn’t feel good about it. On the way back I hit the af­ter­noon rush hour and be­ing un­fa­mil­iar with the roads in the city, I ended up run­ning out of fuel be­fore I had even left the city.

Around din­ner­time, my friend tried call­ing again, to make fun of me. But, on hear­ing that I still hadn’t come back, that I ran out of gas and was stuck on the side of the road, he pan­icked. He got in his car and drove to­wards the city and ac­tu­ally man­aged to find me be­fore dark. He helped me fill up my tank and took me for din­ner in Chi­na­town, apol­o­giz­ing pro­fusely the whole time.

Just look what this joke turned into!

(From On His­tory and Cul­ture of Amer­i­can Hol­i­days , SDX Joint Pub­lish­ing Com­pany. Trans­la­tion: Sam Bow­den)

尔市一家法语电台有两位播音员闲得无聊,密谋在愚人节找个比较精明、难于欺骗的名人寻开心,想来想去就想到了微软总裁比尔·盖茨。于是,愚人节那天,他们打电话给微软公司总部,自称是加拿大总理办公室工作人员,要让盖茨接听克雷蒂安总理的电话。

盖茨的助手也没多想,接通了老板的电话。

盖茨一听是加拿大总理打来的,忙不迭地拿起听筒一个劲儿傻笑。虽说盖茨腰缠万贯、财大气粗,这样的电话也不敢怠慢。电话一通, “克雷蒂安”虽然英语说得不地道,但是妙语连珠,从两国经济形势聊到 Win­dows XP,把盖茨侃得晕头转向、受宠若惊。临了,“克雷蒂安”还邀请盖茨有空儿来加拿大玩,盖茨当然是欣然接受。多大的面子 呀!

等盖茨醒过神儿来,一看新闻,自己和“克雷蒂安”电话聊天那时辰,人家正在会见外国政要呢。

20 世纪 80 年代,中国留学生的汽车都不是很好,除了喇叭不响,哪儿都响,因而出事的就多。谁的车坏路上了,同学、朋友都会义不容辞地赶赴现场帮忙。

一天下午,我突然接到朋友一个电话,说他的车坏在芝加哥城里了,叫我赶紧过去帮一把。放下电话,我想也没想,就驾车冲过去。到了他告诉我的地方一看,没车没人,只好围着那块地界兜圈子。

兜着兜着,就觉得有点不对劲儿。一算日子,今儿正是愚人节呀。这才恍然大悟,大叫不妙。返回路上还赶上上下班高峰,加上我对城里的道不熟,油耗干了还没出城。

到吃晚饭的时候,朋友又给我打电话,本想取笑我的,一听说我现在还没回来,断油停在路边,他也急了,开车就往城里跑,总算在天黑之前找到我。他帮我灌好油,又在唐人街请我吃了一顿饭,一个劲儿地赔不是。您瞧这个玩笑开得! (摘自《闲聊美国节日的历史和文化》生活·读书·新知三联书店)

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