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Best and worst April Fool’s Day pranks ever

Yesterday was April Fools’ Day. I didn’t have much time to plan this year, so other than emptying some students’ water bottles when they weren’t looking, I didn’t do much.

I’ve been a little busy over the past month with last-minute book stuff, which has put a crimp in my style.

But I’ve been victimized by some excellent April Fools’ Day pranks in the past.

On Sunday, April 1, 1990, I awoke before the crack of dawn. Despite staying up until the wee hours of the morning, enjoying another one of our keg parties, I needed to be at McDonald’s at 5:00 AM to open the store.

I exited my bedroom, carefully stepping over friends and total strangers scattered throughout the house in sleeping bags and under blankets. I scurried past piles of empty beer bottles and solitary popcorn bags that I hoped would be cleaned up before I returned home later that day. I quietly pushed open the front door and walked across the lawn to the parking lot, where I spotted some poor soul’s car wrapped so completely in toilet paper that the shape of the vehicle was no longer discernible. It looked like an enormous rectangle of toilet paper.

I laughed as I walked the length of the row to my car.

When I reached the end of the row, I stopped. “Where’s my car?”


But yes. That car, wrapped in what must have been hundreds of rolls of toilet paper, was mine. It was so buried in toilet tissue that I hadn’t recognized it as my own. It took me 30 minutes to clear off the car, making me late for work for the first time in my life. When I finally clawed my way down to the windshield, I found a small block of wood stuck under one of the wipers. Written on it were the words “Daughters of Triton.”

I still have that block of wood.

Sherry Norton and Jennifer Cull, who were still sleeping somewhere in my house that morning, were responsible for that April Fools Day prank, which ranks high in my book of pranks pulled on me.

The following year, on Monday, April 1, 1991, my friend Kate O’Hare came over to our house and told me through tears that she was pregnant.

She allowed me to believe this for a long, long time. Eventually, I was at a party with Kate and saw her drinking. I panicked.

“Does she know she’s not supposed to be drinking?” I wondered. I went over to her and asked.

She laughed. “You still think I’m pregnant?”

My friend Bengi may have been involved in this prank. He remembers being aware of it, but he can’t quite remember if he was also pranked or merely helped to keep it alive.

The longevity of Kate’s prank makes it the best ever pulled on me, but The Daughters of Triton was a close second.

My worst April Fools Day moment came in 2004 when I met with my principal, Plato Karafelis, early one morning in the back of the auditorium to inform him that I was dating Elysha. I had previously been dating the school psychologist, and I thought he should know about the change in girlfriends.

Better to hear it from me than through the grapevine.

When I started dating the school psychologist months before, I asked him if there was anything I should know about staff members dating. His response:

“Don’t let it end ugly.”

I listened (though I’ve always ended relationships well). I’m still friends with that school psychologist today, and I was the DJ at her wedding two summers ago.

When I told Plato about Elysha, he said, “Yeah, right. I know it’s April Fools Day.”

“No,” I said. “I’m serious. I’m dating Elysha.”

Plato turned and walked away. “Like Elysha Green would ever date you!”

Three years later, Plato was the minister at our wedding ceremony.

It was an amusing moment. But it took about a week before he believed we were dating, and his words stung a bit.

“Like Elysha Green would ever date you?”

Admittedly, I was a little surprised myself, but I didn’t need that level of astonishment reinforced so early in our relationship.