I started the day with a text message from my 36-year-old daughter. Married, mother of two.
“F*** I’m pregnant,” it blared.
My response: “Excuse me!?” It was all I could think of to say in my state of shock. I’m thinking to myself that she surely is not that devoid of common sense not to be using birth control.
Her next two responses were rapid fire. “What am I going to do?” “I’ll be 60 when it graduates.”
Aha. “Okay smart ass! Good one. Fell for it.”
I hate April Fool’s Day. I hate it because I’m gullible. It’s tattooed on my forehead. Easy mark. I know what day it is. I’m expecting these little “humorous” lies. Accordingly, you can tell any lie you want on April 1st just by ending it with “April Fool’s.” I hate it.
I remember once in high school, we turned our entire Civics classroom backwards, desks, chairs, pictures, bookcases, right down to the stapler and the tape dispenser. Our teacher was a neatnik. Not really OCD, but things were in a certain place, neatly.
He laughed when he walked in and we were all facing the back wall. He laughed as he turned his desk and chair around. As he lectured he would discover another thing backwards and fix it as he talked. He would be moving things around on his desk. We, all chuckling with each new discovery. Then the coup de grâce, he went for a book in the bookcase by his desk, which, of course was turned facing the wall, without looking. He almost broke his hand. We laughed hysterically. “Good one,” he said. Our Civics teacher was a good sport.
One thing you really shouldn’t do if April 1st falls on a Friday, if you’re a boss, is call a “gullible” employee into your office at 3:00 in the afternoon. It happened to me on April 1, 1977. Notice how I know the exact date. I got the phone call and my heart stopped. Everybody knows you get bad news on Friday at 3:00 in your supervisor’s office.
“I hate to tell you this,” she said, “but we’re going to have to let you go.”
I got up out the chair and said, “Good one,” and walked back to my desk.
She followed me. “No really, we have to cut back on staff and….” I turned around and looked at her, suffering a small stroke I think, and you could see the edges of her mouth just starting to curl up into a smile. I still wasn’t sure if she was smiling because she was getting to fire me, or if it was a “good one.”
One of my favorite April Fool’s jokes was done by Burger King in 1998. They ran a full-page ad in “USA Today” announcing the “Left-Handed Whopper.” A specially designed burger for the 32-million left-handed Americans. The advertisement claimed that all the ingredients were the same as the regular “Whopper,” but shifted 180 degrees to accommodate the left-handed. Burger King claimed that thousands of customers came into their restaurants requesting the “Left-Handed Whopper,” and others wanting their own right-handed version. Good one.
And as hoax’s go, Mark Twain, wrote a very short piece in the “Territorial Enterprise” in 1862, the local newspaper for Virginia City, Nevada, where he worked for a time. In the article he claimed that a perfectly preserved petrified man had been found in a cave in the vicinity and he described in some obscure details the location. The locals should have known it was a hoax and that the cave he described didn’t exist, but many believed it and went searching for the fossil. It spread for months and ended up in newspapers worldwide. An expedition was being formed to search for the fossil when it was finally revealed as hoax. (That was actually published in October, but still makes a good April Fool’s joke.)
So I caution you, be a little kind on this day of “lies” because, as W. C. Fields famously said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” By the way, she didn’t fire me. She thought it was hilarious. I didn’t. WTF