The Life of Bon: April Fool's Day: A History

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Fool's Day: A History

Excerpts of this post originally published April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2014.

My passion for April Fools runs deep and true.

What is better than a day to skip out on work and school, play jokes on your friends all day, and prank to your heart's delight?

My obsession with April Fool's Day came in high school.  I had the genius idea to put flyers on all the cars parked at Albertson's that read: "HUGE ELECTRONIC SALE!  EVERYTHING MUST GO!  MOVING OUT OF COUNTRY IN THREE DAYS"  and below list insanely cheap prices for big screen tvs, laptops, sound systems, etc.  At the bottom I put my best friend's name and phone number.

The phone calls she received were relentless.  She was clueless as to the prank, just knew that she was receiving phone call after phone call after phone call.  I laughed silently to myself, never letting her know it was me.  She was driven to insanity by the ever-ringing phone. 
The prank was a success. 
I was a genius. 
And from that day forward, I declared myself the April Fool's Master.
The next year, as a freshman in college, I tried similar pranks.  I did the electronic prank to my then-boyfriend.  I hung my roommates' bras and undies from the ceiling.  I mixed up all the pots and pans in the cupboards.  Year two: Success

The insanity continued on the next year.  With a whole new set of roommates and a new boyfriend, I tried variations of the same tricks.  This time I stole all of my roommates' underwear, threw it in a huge plastic sack, and then flew the coup, driving home to Price for the weekend.  I was gone for three days with the bag, and my roommates remained underwearless for the duration of that time.  What was more, they couldn't find anything in the kitchen.  I put the bag of chips in the pots and pan drawer, the silverware in the fridge, the plates in the oven.  Year three of pranking:  Success.

That's me in the middle- trying to scare people with a diguise.  Just one of many, many pranks.

From then on out, the pranks only intensifed. I had found something I was good at, and I thrived with my newfound talent, preparing all year long for the big day. 

The next year, my roommates were now well aware of my April Fools antics. So while I was busy putting flyers all over town with their names on it, they were retaliating. They locked my door, stole my car, they changed the names of contacts in my phone and sent me weird messages from ex boyfriends and new crushes.  I, in turn, retaliated in what I believe to be the best April Fool's prank of all time. Through an internet site called, I made them one hundred percent believe that the apartment was possessed. So scared were they that they about dang near got the bishop of our church to come over and rededicate the apartment to cast out the evil spirits. Some would say I had gone too far. I would say it wasn't quite far enough.

You can tell from this picture that we're a pranking-loving gang, can't you?

Year five of April Fool's I was on a mission in Argentina.  But this didn't stop me from pranking my American companion.  I set all the clocks back two hours, forcing us to get up and go on a run at 4:30 in the morning, instead of the usual 6:30.  Then, we called the Elders and told them we were being emergency transferred for flirting too much.  The Elders freaked.  Year five: Success.

The next year brought me back home to Provo, Utah, and living with my same roommates of old.  April Fools, seemingly innocent and playful, bordered on cruel. We stayed up all night on March 31, popping popcorn to put in plastic bags and tape to people's doors so that when they opened the door the popcorn would go pouring in to their home.  We put peanut butter under people's car doors.  I filled my boyfriend's room with infinte pieces of shredded paper (Greg is so lucky that he met me in July and not in March), covering every corner of the room.   You don't have to tell me that I was the world's worst girlfriend.  I already know.  I spent the day pranking my roommates, filling plates of paper with water and covering their bedroom floor, locking doors, changing phone numbers.  We pranked all day and all night, and when midnight rolled around and it was April 2, I prided myself on a job well done.  A few friends were mad at me, sure, a few were offended, yes, a few hated me with a passion, but hey, the day was a success!

And then.  My last year of April Fools pranks.  I started off the day like all April Fools, with middle of the night escapades and pranks.  Student teaching that year, I told all my students we had a massive test.  Then I told them my I-pod was missing and one of them had stolen it.  No one would leave the classroom until it was found.  I made them sit in uncomfortable, awkward silence for several minutes before I finally said those magic words, "APRIL FOOLS!"  I made flyers saying that a friend had free conference tickets and posted them all over campus.  I put my friend's name on Craig List with a post that they had several job openings (You gotta know how to take advantage of a recession, people!).  I worked for over an hour trying to capture a duck to put in one of my best friend's room.  I was unwearing in my efforts.

This was also the year that I started forming alliances.  I promised friends to help them prank someone else, while at the same time, scheming a prank on them behind their backs with another friend.  CrazyA had been married that December, and her husband, Cody, enlisted my help to prank my roommate, Mandy to pay her back for last year's April Fools.  Naturally, I hopped right on board.  Cody shredded thousands of newspapers and his dad's work, and we communicated all day long, me unlocking the apartment for him and letting him know when Mandy would be out that day.  When I came home from teaching that day I checked out Mandy's room.  It was a foot high with shreds of newspaper and wood chips.  Even I was impressed with Cody's thoroughness.

Tired from my endless pranking and chasing after a duck, I laid down to take a nap.  I was awoken half an hour later by frantic shrieks, cries, screaming, whatever you call it when a girl is having a major major freak out over the phone. 

"I HATE HIM!  HE PUT IT ALL OVER MY ROOM!  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!  HE WENT TOO FAR!  I AM SERIOUSLY SO MAD!  I AM FREAKING OUT" (right, because we couldn't tell that already.)  I sat silently on my bed, terrified.  Mandy had obviously not been humored by the joke.  She was irate.  Stressed.  Hurt.  On the verge of a complete meltdown. 

I left my room carefully, tiptoeing down the hall to assess the damage.  Mandy, tears streaming down her face, turned to look at me.  "Look at what Cody did!!  This is such a joke!  I am so stressed right now, I have two huge exams and I don't have time to clean up all this crap!  I can't believe it!"  Mandy was in absolute tears, not seeing anything funny in her disastrous bedroom.

"I seriously hate April Fool's so much!" she continued. "People think they are being cute and funny, but they're not! They're just being rude and annoying and making other people miserable." I nodded sympathetically.  She had no idea I was a part of it.  And I intended to keep it that way.

"I'll help you clean it up, Mand, I'm so sorry this happened to you," I tried to veil my guilt.  I spent the rest of that night trying to help Mandy clean up the room.  The vaccuum didn't come close to being able to clean it up, and the little pieces of paper were scattered in every corner of Mandy's room.  We were interrupted only by a few strangers knocking on my door, saying they had been told to come to this address for conference tickets, part of someone else's April Fools joke.  Fools, indeed.

As I helped Mandy clean up shreds of paper from her underwear drawer and DVD cases and homework assignments, it finally dawned on me. 

I had gone too far.  Done too much.  April Fools is not nice.  People don't like mean pranks, and it's not fun when you're the victim.  In that moment, trying to make up for the damage I had done, I vowed to end my April Fooling ways.  You can't just prank to death the people that you love every year.  They won't want to be your friends anymore.

And so, for the past few years I have been laying low on April Fools.  Part of it is to keep my friends; part of it is due to Greg's absolute hatred for the day.  When we got married there were a few "conditions."  A kind of pre-nup, if you will.  One of the conditions of our marriage was that I do not play April Fool's pranks on him.  I reluctantly agreed to his condition if he would satisfy my condition that we would go on a vacation every year.  He said yes.  You win some you lose some I guess.

The other reason I've been laying low is I am trying to lull him and everyone close to me into a false sense of security.  And of course, I'm building my army- give me ten years and I'll have a gang full of kids whom I will train in my prankster ways.

(Also, I get Greg every year; he just doesn't know.  You see, every April Fool's Day I tell him that I am going to get him, and that I have a prank planned.  He then spends the entire day in paranoia of what may be coming.  He's convinced that a horrible prank lies in wait around each and every corner.  I never have anything planned, but he worries about it all day anyway.  Easiest prank ever. I WIN!)

I have a thing or two up my sleeve for this year, but I'm always open to new prankster ideas.  What's the best prank you've ever done?  Or had done to you?

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