Saturday, April 01, 2006

Happy April Fools Day

April Fool's? April Fools'? I'm doing without the apostrophe altogether. Less clutter.

I love April Fools Day. Love it love it love it. I love thinking of pranks and sneaking around to carry them out. My colleagues usually bear the brunt of my love for April 1st. One year, I built a book wall in front of the new guy's door. I had a lot of time that year, but I have to say it was a thing of beauty. I barricaded his entire doorway, and I arranged those sixty or so copies of the Appendix quite artfully, if I do say so myself; I even threw in a couple Analytical Perspectives for visual interest. My first attempt failed pretty miserably (referred to as the "Great Crash of 11:52"), as my bricks were not exactly square and quite slippery. The final product was definitely worth the effort, though, and the new guy? Laughed really, really hard when he came back to his office. He still talks about it.

Our offices were configured then so that some spaces had connecting doors. (The O'Neill Building, which is no longer standing, was a converted hotel.) Those of us who had adjoining offices put bookshelves or other furniture in front of the doors and basically forgot they were there. One year I squeezed through the internal door and duct taped my neighbor's front door shut from the inside. As she struggled to enter her office, asked others for help, wondered aloud what was going on, suspected the cleaning crew of knocking something over that was blocking the door, and finally got in . . . I giggled at my desk. Then I squeezed back through the adjoining door and asked her how her April 1 was going.

My more recent April 1 pranks have been less inventive. All my colleagues have nameplates on their doors, and one year I replaced them with the ones that had everyone's name and title, but in backward-mirror orientation. Lots of people thought their nametags were facing backward, only to realize that, wait, if their nametags were backward, you wouldn't see any words, just the back of the nametag. My boss still has his backward nametag on his door, so I think the prank was a success, but it was no book wall.

The next year I went really old-school. I put tape on the staff assistant's phone. You know this one - you put tape on the clicky-thing that pops up when you pick up the handset, so when the victim answers the phone, he doesn't really answer the phone. I warned the intern, who sat right next to the staff assistant, when I did it, so the phones wouldn't go unanswered during the prank period. I let the staff assistant in on the joke around 11 o'clock, because he kept swearing and was going to call the Superintendent's Office to come fix his telephone. The two hours of swearing were definitely worth the price of admission that day, and all over one little piece of tape. There's a reason that one's a classic, folks.

Two years ago, Bump and I eloped. Yeah, that was a pretty good one, as far as April Fools pranks go.

"I love April Fools Day. Love it love it love it." If you love April Fools so much, why don't you marry it? Well, I kinda did.

We went to the Arlington County Courthouse, got a license, and got married. Then we called our friends.

And yes, we wanted to get this reaction: "Congratulations! [beat] Wait, is this a joke?"

One of Bump's friends was really skeptical, because he'd been burned pretty badly with April Fools jokes earlier in the day. One of them went like this:

Jerk: Hey, I heard you made partner!
Him: (jubilant) I did!?!
Jerk: No. April Fools.

Now, I love April Fools, but that's just mean.

So he was skeptical, but his wife looked at him sternly and said, "You don't joke about something like this." Then she said, "They wouldn't joke about something like this, would they?"

My friend Jerry didn't believe us. Just flat out never occurred to him that we could be telling the truth. After I hung up the phone with him, I told Bump, "Huh, Jerry wasn't that excited. But you know, it's Jerry. He's not one to gush." When he saw us later in the week, he asked jokingly to see the rings. We showed him. His face dropped. "Wait, you really did it? For real?"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should elope on April Fools Day.

Happy Anniversary Bump.


Gidge said...

I haven't pulled a prank in years. However, the last one I pulled got the Indianapolis Police Dept Bomb Squad called.
I figured I'd never be able to top that one, and have ceased all pranking.

Mom at Work said...

Happy Anniversary woman (and Bump). Had fun with Lumpyhead and his folks and our friends tonight.

Bump - Remind me to quit serving your wife champagne, until she can no longer bowl what she weighes.

Thanks for the grub.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! Can't believe I forgot to check on you yesterday! I did linger at the photo magnet of you fools at the reflecting pool when I filled the water jugs before Loyd dragged us (Annie-O,J&K, Annalee, e-yoak and me) up and down Afton State Park. Loyd's not much of a prankster, but my legs thought the afternoon was a joke.
I hope the lack of update on Lumpyhead means great improvement.


Lumpyheadsmom said...



and I can't believe the wine is going to SC.

Double damn.

On the Lumpyhead front, no real poop yet, but I was just tired of thinking about poop. Follow-up appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday, so until then . . .poop watch. The little guy seems to be in good spirits, though, so that's encouraging.

daddy in a strange land said...

Last year, my wife, "la dra.," and her colleagues pulled a mean April Fool's prank on the nurse practitioner with whom she shares an office.

They told her that she had missed an emergency call from the mother of an child patient, who wanted to ask about an adverse reaction to a prescription. The call-back number: the mortuary next door!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Happy Anniversary!

Misfit Hausfrau said...

You wouldn't love April Fools Day if it was your birthday--trust me on that one. I suffered through years of trauma as a kid with that birthday. Now as an adult it's OK except lots of people remember my birthday but I have no idea when their's is. Well, it could be that I just suck as a friend.

Happy Anniversary!