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Were you an April Fool?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fools' Day was yesterday and I was away from home so I couldn't catch some family members in a joke, but I had fun remembering all the jokes that have been played on me, or by me, in the past.

One of my favorite pranks was one I only heard about. A friend of ours saved his April 1 edition of the Kansas City Star (remember the Kansas City Star?) from the year before. Very early on April 1 he went to another friend's home and picked up the current edition of the paper, took it out of the plastic wrapper and inserted the nice clean issue from the year before. He then left it in the yard for his friend to pick up later. Several pages were read before the fact that it was year old news was discovered.

This same joke player's wife called us one April 1st morning, which fell on a Sunday. Lester was their minister and we knew she had been quite worried about one of her children's marriage relationships. In the call she told us in a very hurried and excited voice to please come over as quick as we could after we got dressed for church. She asked us not to take time to eat because she needed us there in a hurry. We obeyed quickly and when we arrived found a luscious April Fool's breakfast waiting for us and there was no emergency. However, she did have some surprises hidden in some of the food. By then we were wary and didn't literally bite on another trick she had planned.

Teachers always dread the day because kids love to pull their obvious jokes over and over again.

In fact, some teachers announce at the beginning of the day that no jokes are allowed in the classroom.

I think I have written about my brother Ralph putting a small radish in Vernon's strawberry shortcake at our dinner table. Vernon turned the joke around and just ate the radish along with the strawberries as if nothing was wrong.

My favorite way of playing a joke is through giving a telephone message about some meeting. I will try to get the callee to think that she forgot some important meeting and we are waiting to start the meeting until she arrives. Before we hang up I will stress that I know I saw her write down the time and date when the meeting was set and then repeat the time and date. Sometimes it takes a couple of times before the April l date sinks in and the joke is discovered.

One of our sons used his turn to get supper on April 1 as a time to put blue food coloring in the mashed potatoes and green coloring in the gravy. It's amazing how reluctant we were to eat the food that actually seemed to taste different with the odd colors.

My father loved to play jokes on members of the family. I remember going into the bedroom that I shared with my sister and finding Papa under the bed tying the bedspread to the bedsprings. He didn't think I would be home that soon and got caught in the act.

Did you get caught yesterday in a joke? One of the best things about the day is that the jokes can remain a part of your memory for years for you to laugh at again -- or use on someone else.

I am already thinking of some things I can pull next year when I will be at home on that date. But, of course, Mother Nature and Father Time might have their own jokes to play on me!

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus