Through the years this day has been license to do the insane, it’s given me permission to wake my father in the wee hours of the morning on a Saturday to tell him his boss called and needed him as soon as possible at the office, and then waiting until he was dressed and almost out the door before yelling ‘happy April fools’! It allowed me to wake my parents to tell them that our car had been hit by a drunk driver in the night (made plausible by the amount of drunks that dropped in to the store across the street to satisfy the munchies and nicotine habits on the way home from the bar on a Saturday night). It gave me permission to add salt to every water jug on the tables at the castle where I lived, and to not feel sorry when I took our head finance guys’ desk and moved it in it’s entirety out of his office.
The beauty and fun of April Fools is lost on so many, the sheer joy of ‘punking’ people. Throwing firecrackers into the rooms of friends and then watching the looks of shock and panic that come over their faces, only to end up in fits of laughter together when it was all said and done (after running for my life first of course), spending a great amount of time carrying large logs into their rooms, dressing them and using them to scare said friends as they walk in the room in the dark. The sheer bliss of telling your boss that you just dropped almost all of the eggs in the koolhaus on the same day you are supposed to make the dreaded kaiserschmarrn, just to see that look of panic on the mans face as his mind races to come up with another meal plan for 150 people.
It has been typically my parents who have suffered most in this crazy tradition of tormenting, it’s of course their own fault, it was their genes that gave me this need, this desire to wreak havoc on people for the sheer joy it brings me. When I was 19 years old I made two phone calls on April 1st (won’t mention the year for fear of those actually willing to do the math). The first was to my parents in Stoney Creek, Ontario. I told them that I had been proposed too and that I was seriously considering accepting it, and needed their advice… Dad passed the phone to Mom who passed the phone to my sister, it seemed they didn’t find it quite as funny as I did. The second call was to my friends parents, at the time the Austrian law about tourists were changing, and we could no longer just leave the country for a day and return as a tourist again, but now we were being forced to get visas. This meant that most people from Europe had to go home and get the visa from their home countries and the debate for North Americans was on, seeing as the distance was great most of us wouldn’t have been able to return. So, back to the second call to my friends parents. We had our baker (an Austrian who spoke very little English) call his parents and start talking in German, saying on our names in English, then my friend got on the phone and said in a slightly panicked voice that we were being deported and we were being detained at the airport until our flight, we were allowed only one call so if they could please call my parents and arrange to get us from Toronto, we were unsure how we would get them our flight info. We then had the baker yell some more in German in the back ground, and we listened as his parents fired off a string of panicked questions. We didn’t wait too long, just long enough for it to seem real, then we couldn’t contain it any longer and giggles erupted as we told them the truth. Relief served as protection from their wrath, but only for so long.
This morning I made a sad discovery… my parents now expect it, my Mother said to my Father, ‘you better call Laurie before she calls us’… and thus, when I phoned them with my joke of the year I had them for only a second before my Mother clicked in and said ‘is this an April Fools joke?’… ahh… it’s a sad day indeed. I need to find new victims for my games!