Everyone has a favorite holiday and even though Christmas ranks No. 1, I definitely look forward to April Fool’s Day. Although I’m usually the one who ends up being the fool, it’s always a good time.
Every year I prank at least one family member, with the goal of pranking them all, which is hard to do unless it falls near Easter. Several years ago, the weather was nice and everyone was out hunting Easter eggs when I screamed at the grandkids to watch out for the pile of dog droppings in the grass. Of course everyone turned around to see who may have stepped in it, which gave me the audience to pull my prank. I had constructed a pile of droppings out of unbaked brownie mix and picked it up, barehanded, and watched the adults cringe with disgust. Then I held the droppings so close it was touching my nose and mouth and the grandchildren started backing up. Now that’s what I call an April Fool’s delight.
One year I convinced my daughter, who is a veterinarian, to send out a family email to watch for rabid raccoons as they had been spotted all over the city. We let everyone sweat it out for a couple of hours until we told them. Apparently all the pets and kids were made to stay inside until we told them the coast was clear.
I’ve spent many April Fool’s Days making phone calls to prank them with tales of mishaps – from turning over the tractor to running a pitchfork through my foot. In all fairness to my family, these accidents are all very possible as I’m prone to getting hurt, especially when working outside. I know it’s not a motherly thing to do, scaring them like this for a few minutes, but I was the mom who’d jump out of the closet for a good scare at bedtime, so they should be used to it by now.
Since the adults are on to me, and even set reminders on April 1 to not answer my calls or texts, I decided to prank the grandkids.
The 6-year-old grandsons were my target. Not too old to know better and not too young to not understand. Having lunch with one of them at school, I looked into the fast food bag and said, “Oh no buddy, I’m so sorry, they forgot your food.” Panic set in and he started looking through the bag when I said “April Fool’s.” He looked around for teachers and whispered, “We can’t play April Fool’s at school.” Thank goodness I didn’t end up being the fool who was sent to the principal’s office.
While FaceTiming the other 6-year-old about our lunch date the next day, I told him I saw a camel walking through my backyard. He looked at me like I was stupid for thinking he’d fall for that when my daughter, listening in on the conversation, said, “For real? How weird.”
My April Fool’s Day was complete.
Sandy Turner is a GateHouse Media columnist.