This morning, a coworker’s fiancee informed him that she was pregnant. Haha, April’s Fool. Fortunately for him, he didn’t make an ass out of himself, and they are still engaged. I’ve heard rumors of drastically less fortunate outcomes of similar attempts at hilarity.
When I was little, I had friends who did things like short-sheet beds, put saran wrap over toilet seats, or balance buckets of water on top of doors. Pranks. That seemed like the true spirit of April Fools.
Then there was my father, who used to say things like “did you know it snowed two feet last night?” He would giggle as we ran to look, only to find that there was somewhat less than two feet of snow on the ground (like, none). I eventually learned how not to fall for his attempts at fooling. Deer in the backyard? Haha, Dad, I know you’re trying to fool me.
And that seems to be what April Fools really is: a grand excuse to tell doozies. The bigger and badder, the better. Misleading people and then laughing at their gullibility, even if what you told them deserves to be believed, in the case of my coworker. (Can you just imagine what would have happened if she really had been pregnant and he had laughed at her??) And I don’t like it. I don’t like to be lied to, but at least as much as that, I don’t like to feel gullible. I want to believe the best in people, and a holiday that celebrates lying is about the ickiest thing I can imagine.
NPR is on my hit list for this reason. On the drive home today, I listened to a Marketplace report about how the IRS is taking matters into their own hands, concerning your tax rebate. Knowing certain people are likely to spend their rebates to pay down debt, they have taken it upon themselves to spend the rebates for people, sending them things like air conditioners instead of checks. The transcript is worth reading, because once you know it’s all hooey, it is really funny. But I’d rather have read it on the Onion. I don’t like my trustworthy news sources deceiving me! Dustin laughed and laughed at the report as he watched my eyes get bigger and my jaw drop farther. I was working myself up into a state of officially Pissed Off (dreaming up the stink I would make if the IRS decided to send ME a snow blower instead of a check for $1200) and completely missed the line about “Oh, c’mon, check your calendars, everybody.” Then I was officially Pissed Off for having taken the bait.