April Fools

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My rubber-faced brothers and sister: Frank, Mike (Peep) and Dot.

I've never been a very good prankster. I try to keep a straight face, but somehow my eyes smile if my mouth doesn't. Before I've even attempted the prank, most people know there's something up my sleeve.

Growing up, we were all nuts about playing tricks on our Dad on April Fools Day. God, we thought we were so clever. My favorite April Fools Day went like this: It was a typical school day morning and we were gathered around the kitchen table slurping down bowls of cereal. In a few moments, like clockwork, our Dad would emerge from his bedroom in a crisp starched button-up and tie, and join us in the kitchen to make our lunches. It's funny how younger brothers never forget April Fools Day. Acting fast, Frank decided to retrieve one of Dad's empty Old Milwaukee cans from the recycling bin. He filled it with tap water and settled back into his seat at the table, awash with the best drunkard impression a 12 year old can muster. The rest of us were instantly on board. We scrambled to fill up our own cans. We had to show little Peep, age 5, which cans said beer and which ones said soda. Then with our brewskies we sat fidgeting at the table waiting, snorting out stifled laughs with our eyes real wide. We had quickly rehearsed the act so that when Dad came out, Frank would be guzzling Old Milwaukee, Emily would burp, then attempt to crush a can in her fist, and Peep would be face down in his bowl, clearly wasted. I planned to sip mine (more believable, I rationalized) and share it with Clara, our family's parakeet, who was often uncaged and liked to perch on the edge of our cereal bowls.

Dad didn't miss a beat. He walked in, smiled broadly and just said, "Hey kids, havin' some brews?" We went wild with laughter anyway, hung off his arms and pretend-punched him, demanding, "We got you, didn't we!?" He just chuckled, his eyes squinty like little rainbows.


Have you ever played any good pranks? While I'm the worst prankster, I'm the best prankee. It's frightening how gullible I can be sometimes.


  1. this is priceless. i can picture the whole scene just as you described.

    i never had any good pranks. i remember when i was like 5 years old trying to fool my mom on April 1st by telling her, "LOOK, MOM!! THERE'S A GIANT TELEPHONE BEHIND YOU!!!"

    because somehow that would be surprising? and believable? no idea. sad.

  2. We used to put ketchup and mustard in the soap containers. ZING!

  3. we had some serious pranking going on at work today, with several of declaring this "the best april fool's EVER!"

    your dad sounds delightful. lucky girl.


  4. You have me laughing and laughing over here - such a funny family prank to play. We had pranks that did thankfully turn out funny when we were growing up but unfortunately not coinciding with April Fool's.
    The week before Easter one year my sister told me my mother had said we could boil 2 dozen eggs to decorate, and since it was very early in the morning I decided not to double check even though that was more than double what we normally would boil! It was a pretty funny moment when our mom came into the kitchen and asked why we had so many pots of boiling water on the stove...

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