How far is too far for an April Fool’s Day joke? It’s all supposed to be a day filled with practical jokes and hoaxes and silliness. Until, it’s not.
Years ago, on April Fool’s Day, I told my mom I was getting engaged to someone I had recently started dating. My acting must have been pretty good because she actually bought it and, worse yet, I let the prank go on ALL day. Boy was she furious when I told her it was a joke at the end of the night.
Funny, right? Wrong! I’ve vowed never to go that far again.
How many women tease their husbands today with “I’m pregnant” or a husband to his wife “I got fired” (hmm…not so funny). I’m pretty sure over the years my husband got used to the “pregnant routine”, though I’ll never forget the first time I said it, when he held my gaze for a moment – all the air sucked out of the room – and nervously asked “April Fool’s, right?”
That man knows me!
Now all my April Fool’s Day pranks fall on dead ears and an eye-roll, but you can’t blame me for trying. I’ve been doing this for years. It’s in my blood.
When I was a young girl, my brother, sister and I, would love to tell our dad – with mock horror and chocolate milk smeared faces – there was a three-headed elephant in his car, and then we’d sing “There’s a three-headed elephant in daddy’s car, April Fools, April Fools” as we followed him to his car to have a look see. Then we would inform our mom that school was cancelled for the day and spiders were swimming in our cereal. (She didn’t buy that either.) The entire day would be filled with silliness. It’s still in me, folks.
The real zinger on April Fool’s Day is that it’s also the day many colleges send out their admissions decisions. What kind of sick joke is that?!
I have one friend, whose clever child told her mom she got into the college of her choice, and her mom – loaded with excitement and quick fingers – shot off an email to friends sharing the good news. Whoops! The second email that followed was one for the books. (As luck would have it her daughter did end up getting into an even better school later on. Ha!)
Where did April Fool’s Day come from you ask? Good question. Hope you’re sitting down.
According to Wikipedia: “In the Middle Ages, up until the late 18th century, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Year’s Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.”
Examples of early pranks: “In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1.” And, “On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”. Clever ones, those guys.
So, tell me, have you pulled any pranks today?
Chrystal viera says
I love your zest for life . I love pulling pranks too. Thanks for making me smile !!!
Carpool Goddess says
Thank you for your kind words! So glad you enjoyed the post.
When I introduced my first truly serious boyfriend to my parents we went to an upscale Chinese restaurant and changed tables 8 times. I was mortified.
Later I found out that my father had arranged it with the maitre de in advance. He wanted to see my boyfriend’s sense of humor.
As my now ex-husband/good friend lives for playing practical jokes he more than passed
Carpool Goddess says
Oh my, that was some test your father did. You can really tell a lot about a person in how they handle a situation like that.
Grown and Flown says
The pranks get so good sometimes that they no longer feel like pranks!! Some of the best were on social media this year. You are right one year my son’s classmates heard from colleges on April 1!
Carpool Goddess says
Yes, there were some great ones on social media. They had me going for a moment. Hilarious!
Chloe Jeffreys says
I find nothing funny about April Fools Pranks.
Mithra Ballesteros says
I am like you. It’s in my blood. I’ve actually thought of writing a book. I delivered lunch boxes to classrooms in a robe and slippers. I taped a fart machine under a son’s chair and handed the remote to the band director. I replaced Lucky Charm marshmallows with hot wasabi peas and reglued the cereal box. I enlisted a flight attendant to spray down my sons’ airplane seats for “hygiene issues.” I convinced the middle school principal to let me be the substitute teacher during my son’s homeroom where I led everyone in calisthenics choreographed to Michael Jackson. It got to the point that if I didn’t pull off something spectacularly clever, the kids (and their friends) were disappointed. An impossible situation. What was I thinking? It became yet another motherhood burden of my own doing. Joke on me!! Today, my jokes are directed at my readers. It still takes loads of planning but at least no principals, band directors, or flight attendants are involved.
Dr. Margaret Rutherford says
When I was 16, I put salt in my dad’s coffee at breakfast. He grimaced, and laughed. That night, he had a heart attack. He lived I’m delighted to say, but I’ve never pulled an April Fools prank again. Lol… PTSD or something I guess. Love that others do however, and I’m quite gullible! Thanks for the fun Linda!