And the fools rush in

Ford Festiva, Urbana, IL
Why, yes! It ran on AA batteries. Image by joefutrelle via Flickr

This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. Mark Twain

April Fools’ Day is one of my favorite holidays.  I’ve pulled quite a few tricks over on friends and family over the years. A few were brilliant. Most were lame. But in any case, I managed to laugh hysterically at my apparent cleverness and the victim’s ability to be gullible and/or dumber than dishwater (or more likely, they were simply trying to humor me and went along with the joke anyway).

One year, I called my manager at work to inform her that I couldn’t make it in as my parked car was now tipped over onto its side after being demolished by a deranged snowplow driver.  Not all that hard to believe, considering at the time I drove what I lovingly refer to as my Can of Spam on Wheels (AKA: 1991 Ford Festiva). She believed me. For about two minutes. Sadly, I still had to go to work that day.

Most of the jokes I came up with only amused me.  In third grade, I informed my friends on the playground that I was moving to Florida the next day to swim with the dolphins. They believed me. I think I believed it for a time too.

One year, I offered to make my brothers a delicious chocolate shake. (This sudden and rare gesture of kindness should have been the first tip-off something wasn’t quite right.) I delighted in watching them down it, only to discover at the bottom sat a special sludgy concoction of Tabasco sauce, maple syrup and ketchup. I screamed, “April Fools’ Day!” and ran away. I think I suffered a few head-locks and noogies in retaliation but it was so worth it.

And then there were those jokes that were really just cruel pranks. My younger brother was the master.  His best friend had parked his car in our driveway and walked to a restaurant nearby to work his shift.  Within minutes, my brother pulled out a huge ball of twine and said, “Hey! I’ve got an idea! Wanna help?” Soon we were both throwing that ball of twine up and over his friend’s car a million times, wrapping it into a giant car-shaped cocoon of thick string.  We waited in the window cackling like mad and watched his friend struggle to cut the rope with his Leatherman for over an hour. Amazingly, they are still friends today.

Another year, I was returning home from college when my younger brother and his girlfriend informed me that they had “redecorated” my old bedroom upstairs. I opened the door to find a giant cobwebby mess of pink and blue gooey Silly String encasing every miniscule inch of my room. It hung from the ceilings and plastered my bookcase, my TV and my bed.  I needed a scythe just to make it across the floor.  I half-expected to find my dog curled up on the rug coated in it, whimpering. I was picking and scraping off the hardened silly string for weeks afterward.  I’d think that I had finally managed to clean it all, only to discover yet another hardened pink glob in my shoes in the closet.  But, I found it hilarious. Good thing. Only wish I had taken a picture so it could’ve lasted longer.

And perhaps the joke that stands out most was the year I informed my husband that I was pregnant again. With twins. Now that was a Kodak moment.  Astonishingly, we are still married.

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8 thoughts on “And the fools rush in

  1. I love watching the news on April 1st. I wait for the prankster newscaster reporting on stories like the spaghetti harvest, with shots of field workers plucking strings of pasta from trees. Have you seen that one? Priceless.

  2. And I thought “Maineiac” was just a clever name for your blog. If I lived with you, I’d definitely be away on a business trip today. (Green beans? You wouldn’t. Tell me you wouldn’t.)

  3. Me, clever? Never. Maniacal? Yes. (I grew up with five brothers, I had to survive somehow!)

    I would never pull a cruel prank like forcing green beans on my kids though, that would be unforgivable. 😉

  4. The Compulsive Writer

    I love April fools day and now I love it even more (sidebar: An agent and an editor have asked to see my work today). But on the joke side…I use to play awful jokes on people, jokes that would make your friends not your friends anymore…like putting fake engagement announcements in the paper ..or …re-parking their car in the middle of the night so they thought it was stolen in the morning. The later was one I pulled on my husband when we were still dating (he gets my humor). I’ve since downgraded my jokes to plastic wrap over the toilet bowl and Vaseline slicked door handles. 🙂 Love the post!

    1. Whoa! Congrats on the agent/editor stuff. How exciting! Not surprising though with your writing abilities.

      Well, I am relieved to know there is someone else out there who can be just as demented as me when it comes to jokes. 😉 Good thing our husbands have the same twisted sense of humor.

      The string-covered car prank kept going on and on for years. Later, one of my brother’s friends retaliated by filling up his car with 100 pumpkins. Then, another friend filled a car with three huge barrels of LIVE crabs he’d dug out of the ocean. They crawled all over, up into the engine, etc. The poor guy could never get that funky ocean smell out of his car after that. I still laugh at that prank today. Crazy!

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