Though I’ve already written about April 1st traditions, I can’t resist going there again. Probably because I love pranking people. After all, playing jokes on people is fun! And also, don’t we need humor these days more than ever? Yep, I think so! So, here goes with three of the most enjoyable pranks I’ve ever played on my husband. Who, if you know him, is a funny guy; in fact, I’m sure he could do standup comedy. Therefore, it’s odd that I would be the prankster in the family, but it’s true.
When the kids were little, I once saved the April 1 newspaper for pranking the following year. Would I remember my idea at the proper time? Yay, I did! The next year, I got up very early and snuck to the front doorstep to switch the newspapers. How long would he read before figuring out he was encountering “old news”?
Hubby has the habit of reading the paper cover to cover—with his breakfast, and then lunch, and all the day through. So I was hovering when he began his morning ritual. Finally I posed the usual question as nonchalantly as possible, “Anything new in the paper today?”
He frowned, turned some pages, and frowned some more. Finally with a perplexed expression he murmured in astonishment, “Terri Schiavo died again.”
“Died? Again? Really? Again?” I began howling with laughter and could hardly contain myself. “That would be quite the event all right!” Poor hubby. He has always prided himself on his rational mind and objectivity, but this prank had befuddled him to the point of uttering nonsense.
Fast forward to the pandemic years. Hubby had ordered a brand new laptop. It arrived well before prank day and gave me an idea. When he wasn’t around, I opened the packaging very carefully, so that it could be perfectly restored with some judicious use of tape, and slipped in a concerning notice. It read:
DO NOT SELL
RETURN TO MANUFACTURER
April 1st came, and to my disappointment, it didn’t look like he was going to open the package anytime soon. By evening I got impatient, so I prompted him, “Don’t you want to see how you like your new laptop?” He agreed, and opened the box.
“No! Unbelievable!” was his properly dismayed response before I relieved his distress with a gleeful “April Fools!”
Then this year. The big day came, and I still didn’t have a good idea. Hubby even asked me, “No April Fool’s joke this year?” I admitted to him that, unfortunately, my creativity had completely tanked, and he actually looked disappointed. Well, we couldn’t have that!
April 1st fell on Saturday which is the one day a week our newspaper does not come. Which gave me a last-minute-for-at-least-tomorrow idea, but you need to understand the backstory first. A few months ago we subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. There had been some hiccups, and a few times the newspaper never arrived, which was very frustrating for Mr. Cover-to-Cover-Reader. But finally, the problems looked like they had been resolved.
Okay then, the April Fool’s prank would be happening on April 2nd this year! I typed up another concerning notice and the next morning slipped it between pages A2 and A3 before I left for church. When I arrived home, the paper lay untouched on the counter. I had not taken into account that Mr. Cover-to-Cover-Reader usually runs a day behind in amassing his prodigious knowledge. Well, this was be no fun.
I decided I’d do a little set-up. I flung open the first page, gasped and said, “Oh, no, Honey, you won’t believe this!” His face blanched, “What? What?”
“Here, read for yourself,” and I shoved the open newspaper with notice under his nose, and he began reading the following:
We regret to inform you that due to employee shortages, Wall Street Journal delivery services in your area will be suspended indefinitely beginning Monday. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Refunds cannot be issued over the next six months while bank insolvencies directly impacting WSJ are resolved. We ask for your patience.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
As he began reading, his face reddened, “This is ridiculous!” I had him until he came to the paragraph about the refunds when he looked up and smiled, “Oh, April Fool’s.”