It’s almost April Fool’s Day! Find out which Chick is most likely to pull a prank or get pranked.
I come from a family of anti-pranksters. My father lost a friend who worked as a producer on the old TV show, Candid Camera, because Dad refused to sign a release after he was secretly filmed for one of the show’s gags. But one April Fool’s Day when I was a kid, TV Guide included two pages of a joke schedule in their regular weekly issue. It looked exactly the same as the usual schedule, but was a satirical take on the shows of the day. I thought it was so hilarious that I hid it the issue in one of the many old cigar boxes that always seemed to be lying around our house. (In that case, the joke on was on the cigar company, because no one in my family smoked.) I still have the issue… and the cigar box.
Solemn truth: I have never pranked anyone. And, to my knowledge, no one has ever pranked me, either (fellow Chicks, don’t even THINK about it). It’s possible this is because I do not handle suspense well in real life (but I adore it in books, TV, and movies). Oh, and I cry super easily. Our wedding anniversary is April 2 and I was worried that the casual, rehearsal-dinner BBQ the night before our wedding would be a disaster. (It wasn’t–but FYI, for anyone planning weddings, you can almost always get a venue for cheap on April Fool’s Day.) Worst prank ever, that I know of? In college, a couple of guys who lived on the 5th floor of a rowdy dorm moved all of their living room furniture into an identical, newly-vacant room on the first floor. They got their third roommate drunk down at the local pub. Then they assisted him back to their alleged room and pushed him out the window (into the bushes, but still). Too bad the guy was too drunk to remember it was April Fool’s, but he did remember that their actual room was several floors up. I didn’t know any of these guys very well but I was scarred for life.
My stepdad has always been a bit of a prankster, and one year he told me the dog was lost because I’d left the gate open. He told me to go look for her and gave me a special whistle that he swore she’d respond to. An hour later, I returned home in defeat, embarrassed in that special way that only an eighth-grader who’s been riding her bike around the neighborhood blowing a whistle can be. Trying not to laugh, he said, “Oh, yeah, I forgot! She’s at the groomer’s!” The next year, I got my revenge: he woke up to a note saying I’d run away from home. I even mentioned that I’d taken the TV to sell for money, then hid the TV to make it extra convincing. Then I went and slept in the guest bedroom. Seeing as how he wasn’t expecting retaliation at 6:30 a.m., he fell for it. (Luckily, I popped out and yelled April Fool’s after about 30 seconds so as not to give my mom a heart attack.) That pretty much ended the April Fools pranks in our household — and I think we can all agree that it was probably for the best.
I come from a family of jokesters, but not pranksters, so April Fools Day gags were never part of my repertoire. I was surprised — and amused — after hubs and I moved to the Upper Peninsula a few years back to learn that April Fools jokes are part of the local culture, and extend even to the news reports. In 2011, a local news outlet reported on April 1 that 456 moose had wandered from Wisconsin into the U.P., going on to describe how local residents were amazed to see the large herd waiting for traffic before crossing a major highway in an orderly fashion. I’ll admit I read well into the story before it dawned on me it was completely ridiculous. It made me feel a little less foolish when I saw some people posting and commenting about it in our Facebook feed that day. (Fellow Chicks: We need to think up a prank to pull on Lisa at Malice Domestic. But, don’t tell her it was my idea.)
Not a huge fan of pranks in general. But we do have a family tradition of wrapping awesome gifts in ridiculous packages–something that the person would never, ever use or desire. In fact, the more unlikely it is that the recipient would want whatever the box says is inside, the better. And then whoever opens the gift and sees the box with the label of something they’d never use or desire still has to pretend that they are all excited because: good manners. And meanwhile, they are thinking What the heck is this? But also, in the back of their mind, they are thinking Maybe this is just a prank. But also, Maybe it’s not. You just never know. Which is part of the fun.
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