I Hate April Fools Day

April 1, 2011

I hate April Fools Day. I am not shy about it. I think it is a foolish holiday and really, who is having a good time getting pranked? Nobody likes it when Ashton Kutcher likes it, so why would I like it when some Tom, Dick, or Harry is pranking me? (Exceptions to this rule are George Clooney and Brad Pitt, because they are far above average and are apparently excellent pranksters.) But listen, there’s a real reason why I hate April Fools Day, and it’s trauma related, so lets just get this over with…

I used to love April Fools Day. As a child, my mother would encourage us to wake my father up and tell him that he had parked his car in the rosebushes when he got home from the operating room last night. We always thought this was the best joke ever and would crack up when he would jump out of bed and look out the window desperately. Looking back, he probably faked it after the first or second year.

One of my French teachers growing up taught me about “Poisson D’Avril” (“April Fish”), which is their version of April Fools. You apparently cut fish out of pieces of paper and stick them on people’s backs like “Kick Me” signs. My mom and I did this to each other for a few years, but it got old when someone in the family got me and I wore it to school and got really upset when everyone pointed it out. It just occurred to me that maybe the French teacher had told me this as an April Fools joke, but I guess at the time I had no way of knowing cause Google wasn’t really a big deal then. I just googled it. It’s real. I’m feeling a bit better. I was planning on going home and asking my Rosetta Stone teacher if it was real but then I remembered domestic computers still have their collars on and don’t talk back. (I’m on board with the conspiracy that computers are actually much further advanced than we have access to, and they would talk back and maybe bitch slap us but they got those crazy intel chips in em that keep them on leash. Seen THX1138? Yeah, it’s like that but we keep our computers on the drugs to keep em down.)

Last year was the end of April Fools for me. I hung up my prankster shoes for good. Taking into consideration how sarcastic I am on a regular basis, tricking people with said sarcasm was taken off the table. I am now flat and boring, and it’s all because I made my mother cry last year.

Yep. Sorry, Mom. Half of the audience (like 2 people, one of them being my Mom) are booing me because I made her cry. The other half is laughing, because it’s totally ridiculous, and in the polar opposite direction, I pranked the shit out of my Dad and he had a great laugh. Regardless, I have removed myself from the game (you just lost, fyi) because my prank hurt someone.

I was still working for the temp agency then and had been placed on the lower floor reception area (we’re talking the worker drone floor) of a large corporation that built bombs and aircraft carriers. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to know what they did there (nobody would tell me) but I didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement or anything. At least I think that’s what they did. It was either that or glue (they shared a name with a well known adhesive company. Not Elmers.) Don’t ask me how I know that. I don’t want to jeopardize anything if I did sign a confidentiality agreement.

Anywho, I was working the drone floor. I was supposed to sign for packages, juggle about 50 phone lines (my largest switchboard to date) and gchat all day. I also worked upstairs from Just Salads, my favorite place in midtown for lunch, so it wasn’t too shabby of a gig. I did get about 60 calls an hour, and probably signed for more packages than I could possibly ever be responsible for (what do you do if a temp signs for your package and then it disappears?!) but I had a little bit of down time on my lunch and decided it was time to call my parents. I’m sure your first question is “why the hell would you prank call your parents from work?” OH BUT MY FRIENDS, WHEN YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A RESTRICTED PHONE NUMBER YOU MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

I don’t remember exactly, but I think I called my Mom first. This logically doesn’t make sense, because I would have never tried the prank on my Dad after traumatizing my mom so much. I blame drugs. Or something. The following is basically our phone conversation; it’s slightly adjusted because its been a year and I’m not a fucking tape recorder.

Mom: Hello?* (*this was in the voice my mom uses to answer the phone when she doesn’t know whos calling. it’s the voice she uses when she talks to people she isn’t related to by blood when she’s mad and doesn’t want to show it. all sing-songy. I’ve got one too. I use it for tenants that annoy the shit out of me on the phone.)
Me: Mom?
Mom: Natalie?
Me: Hi.
Mom: What’s up?
Me: Um… well…
Mom: What?
Me: Mom. I’m in jail.
*beat*
Me: APRIL FOOLS
Mom: That’s not funny.
Me: What?
Mom: That’s not funny.
Me: It’s just joke.
Mom: That’s not funny. (by this point her voice has really changed and she is AUDIBLY upset. I think she started to cry here.)
Me: I’m sorry, Mom. It was just a joke. I didn’t let it go on for very long. I thought you’d laugh.
Mom: I don’t think it’s very funny at all. One day when you have a child and they do something like this to you, then you will understand how this feels.
*click*

YEP. Made my mom cry AND hang up on me. Good going, Nat.

So then, in a moment of insanity, I decide to try the same thing on my dad.

Dad: Hello?* (*Dad uses his professional doctor voice when I call from a number he doesn’t recognize. His voice changes IMMEDIATELY when he knows its me into more of a giggily thing. He sounds awfully official when I call his cell from an unregistered number though.)
Me: Hi Dad.
Dad: Natalie! Hi! How are you?
Me: Not good. I have a problem.
Dad: Uh oh. Whats up?* (*My Dad often says “what’s up” even when he’s legitimately concerned about something. It’s a really serious “what’s up” like “whats up with this slipped disk in your back and it’s exploded so we cant put it back together you’re going to be in pain forever sorry.” Read that aloud and you’ll heard what “whats up” sounds like when you’re serious.)
Me: I’m in jail.
Dad: Uh oh.* (*YES HE SAID THAT)
Me: I know.
Dad: So um what did they arrest you for?
Me: Pulling the best April Fools Joke on my Dad EVER?!

My dad laughed. He thought it was funny. I think the real difference with my parents here is that my mom really believes deep down somewhere that I hold the potential to get myself arrested for something retarded while my dad knows in the back of his mind that I’m too much of a goodie twoshoes to get arrested and if I did I could probably bamboozle my way out of it. Nice to know my dad remains calm in crisis.

I did call my mom back and apologize some more. She gave me a lecture on “if you had a child…” and blah blah blah I’m terrible and she didn’t talk to me for a week and then got over it. I might call my dad today and tell him I’m in jail today just to see how he reacts… in fact, it’s early enough on the west coast I might call and prank him before he realizes it’s april first. Maybe I should call and squirrel some stuff up through his assistant…

Things I learned (and hope you have too):
– Don’t prank your mom.
– Call Dad if you go to jail.
– When I have a child, I will hate them for all of the miserable things they do to me on April Fools Day, and probably every other day of the year.
– Poisson D’Avil is a real thing.

Happy April Fools everyone. This post is super real and not a joke like that improv everywhere JarJar bullshit. Don’t prank me cause I’ll kick you in the balls and lecture you on how when you have children you’ll hate this. Also, call your mother and say hi. She misses you.

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One Response to “I Hate April Fools Day”

  1. […] over the years. I thought he had possibly made this up, like my French teacher inventing “poisson d’Avril.” My father was an excellent bullshitter, and even if he had no idea what it actually was, he […]

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