It's April Fool's Day! The day that was invented for merry making, tomfoolery, and trick playing on whomever we have left for friends. Raise you hand if you share my enthusiasm for this world's most neglected holiday.
My awareness for playing jokes developed early in life, having an older brother who subjected my sisters and me to many ingenious pranks. He booby-trapped our doors with pullstring firecrackers, drenched us at the kitchen sink by rigging the spray nozzle, and mortified us with whoopee cushions. His most impressive stunt took place one night during supper when he sneezed an enormous amount of snot into his hands (he'd stuffed green jello and little bits of lettuce up his nose) and ate it.
As a result of my brother's damaging exploits, I decided that when I grew up I would only play jokes that were lighthearted and recreational. Two that I really enjoy can be performed at dinner parties. The first is, when the host asks you how you like the food, answer, "It tastes pretty good, but it's a little tough." Then spit a few Tic Tacs onto your plate so it looks like you've lost some teeth. The other one is, while chewing, stand up and begin coughing vigorously. Continue to cough, make gagging noises, clutch and point at your throat and pretend to pass out. With any luck a good-looking single male will come forward and administer chest compressions (the lifeless faker determines the duration). When you've had enough, open your eyes and exclaim, "JUST FOOLIN!" then watch the fun unfold.
In the event the resuscitator is old school CPR trained and combines compressions with mouth-to-mouth, be sure to use breath spray and apply shimmer gloss before choking. During the heroics, try to look as desirable as possible. Hopefully you've landed in a tempting position with your head titled back and a bit to the side. Keep your lips parted but resist any urges of tongue movement. These should be enough subtle signals to communicate that you are available the following Saturday night.
Yes, April Fool's Day never fails to bring out my playful, fun loving nature!
Have any all-time-favorite practical joke stories?
My brain is just too tired this morning to come up with a list of pranks I may have pulled. Google's April 1 nod today is pretty good.
Good morning, everybody.
And nice blog entry, Donna!
I've done several "food" jokes on April Fool's Day (when my best girl friend's kids were younger [before college] they used to come over every year on AFD). Like cutting puff pastry to look like french fries, strawberry/raspberry jam as ketchup. Then one year I made spaghetti & meatballs out of icing that I pushed through a ricer, jam as sauce and meatballs made from marzipan. Meatloaf another year made from chocolate pound cake... peas made from Starbursts.
Makes me think I should try something tonight on my daughter.
Thanks Donna -- great way to get my thinker going this morning!
But who is Tom Foolery?
Greetings! Donna, that is too funny -- love it! I was never a prankster -- I was far too serious and afraid of repercussions to try anything. Although I might have put saran wrap over toilet bowls just under the seat ...
Geez, Donna. who knew you were this kinky? If I pulled this stunt you describe, it would be just my luck to get mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from a hunky guy. I'm male and straight.
Slightly OT--Pennsylvania cops just arrested a man found kneeling on the margins of a highway doing a mouth-to-mouth rescue of a dead possum. As they say, "Alcohol was involved."
I'm too sweet to really prank anyone, so I'll just pass along my favorite item from Penn and Teller's book, How to Play With Your Food. At a dinner party with people sitting around the table, you complain about having something in your eye. Fuss with the eye with your fingers. When you think everyone is paying attention, you mutter about how you will sure get it this time, and you bring up a dinner fork to your eye. In your other hand you have secreted a little packet of cream (for coffee). Dig with the fork, pushing it into the creamer, and then give it a big squeeze. There is no need to lick the cream running down your cheek, but that's optional.
Good Morning Tricksters,
Donna, I don't know what to say! I'll bet you are a very popular dinner guest in some circles and not so much in others.
We like April Fool's day at our house and I always try to come up with some joke, like - "oh no!, the basement is full of water". Some times it works and there are times when the joke has been on me.
The best trick I can remember was a trick I played on a visitor to our house who always got into our fridge and always dumped out and filled our ice cube tray because she thought we didn't provide enough ice cubes. I filled the tray with water just before this person came for a visit and you can guess what happened when she thought she was dumping out ice cubes. I thought this was very funny at the time although it is not the equal of a Donna trick.
well, Donna, great (although a little nauseating on an empty stomach) challenge to think playfully today - thanks!
i'm not clever enough (unjoyful, German yada, yada) to play practical jokes. but one i remember goes back to the days when we were poor students. it was Steve's Mom's BD party that day, and as was their usual habit Steve's brother and sister-in-law called and said they had forgot a gift and did we have anything we could wrap up that they could give Mom??? Steve said we had some Baba au rhum (wonder if they still make those?) in a can and that would make a nice gift for Margaret. good, they said. so we wrapped up a stack of canned tuna (we were tired of financing their lack of planning because they never ever paid us for anything).
At the party, after the meal, the gifts were opened. Margaret opened the one that was supposed to be the babas. she oohed and aahed over the tuna (she was an extremely kind woman) saying things like "oh, and water packed, too!" Sister-in-law shot a look to her husband, and left the table. then Steve pulled out the can of babas for Mom. this truly was a very practical joke, because they never mooched gifts off of us again. mean, yes. but everyone (except sister-in-law) got a good laugh out of it.
Donna is absolutely the best blogger for this day.,..,
I am not a practical joker...the worst thing I did and no one laughed was feed my young niece and nephew rabbit the night before Easter...told them it was Peter. My poor nephew went into to the bathroom to pray he wouldn't have to eat it.
craigslist offers great possibilities. you can offer 5 dollars for any remaining christmas trees to be delivered to this address today. needles need not be remaining on the tree to qualify.
free designer shoes size 7 for the ladies call this number.
free theraputic massage to the first 50 callers at this number to develop a broader client base. oh the list goes on and on, the celephane on the toilet is a good one. the rubber band around the sink sprayer is my personal favorite. hot dogs in the ice cube diepenser if you happer to have one of those in the refrigerator door ice cube options is really fun to watch the response on. if you can figure out the premise, fake throwing up into a bowl where dinty moore beef stew has been strategicaly placed and then eating it is a real pleaser. how about the hole in the bottom of the sucrets box with the cotton that has a little red food coloring around the hole to make it look like you have a cut off finger in there then wiggle it.
depending on the bedtime and sleep deprivation of the prank receiver a call at about 11:30 pm stating there is a neighborhood evacucuation because of a broken gas main requires you to get out of the house and stand on the fron lawn is good if we have a warm april 1st like this year. it is even funnier when it is 10 degrees out.
lighting a newspaper on fire after you have scrunched it up inside a cooking pot with a lid. you smother the fire and get the smoke going, then open the lid down the bedroom hallway blow the smoke in the doors of the sleepy heads and yell fire fire every body out. ...oh the laughs at this april fools wake up are memorable.
my family loves april fools day. and they love moving away.
happy april fools day
My mother was a very proper person who didn't do much joking, but her brother, Horace, was more light hearted. He told us about gluing a coin to the pavement when he a was a boy and hiding to watch people try to pick it up.
Donna, can we assume you met Carlos at an April Fools' dinner party?
When my son was in his first year of college I sent him an email saying I was marrying that afternoon. I had agreed to wed Yad Slooflirpa to help him with his immigration problems.
Have a good day Heartleanders, but be very careful if Donna or Tim invite you for dinner!
my (fun) Grandma loved jokes. one of her favorites was sending her grandchildren care-packages of "wind sausage," which was sausage casing blown up, tied and dried. low calorie.
before she died she got too weak to throw her whoopie cushion under aunt Ruth before she sat down, so she enlisted uncle Clarence to do it.
oh Jasper is playing Dream's song! thanks, Jasper! she is feeling a little lonely with the others in pens with their kiddos. she needs extra attention.
good one, Beth-Ann. thanks
i still remember Joanne's Dad getting them to say "Owatta goo siam" or something like that.....
parents having fun with their kids- i love it.
My favorite practical joke is one that good friend of my dad's played on one of his neighbors in Sioux Falls in the 1950's. Frank, my dad's friend, was a dedicated Democrat who had a churlish and unpleasant neighbor who was an equally dedicated Republican. One day, Frank phoned the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the local newspaper, and put in the following ad:
Disbanding small circus-Elephant for sale
with the neighbor's name and phone number as the contact and had the neighbor sent the bill. The bewildered neighbor began receiving a surprising number of phone calls inquiring about his elephant. He got angrier and angrier and started yelling at people who phoned "I don't know nothing about no #*&-*%$@# elephant" He finally saw the ad in the paper and complained to the Argus Leader. After that, the paper insisted that people had to come in person to place ads and couldn't just phone them in.
Good Morning Fellow Fun Lovers.
Thanks for sharing the gags and stories!
Barb - I had to google Bauba and grinned to find out it's what I always called "cake in a can." That was a brilliant solution!
Steve - my son used to love doing the fork in the eye trick in restaurants. He's still a funny guy. Whenever he comes for a visit, he always adds the item "drugs" to the bottom of my grocery list. BTW I was never this kinky before I got into this blogging habit.
Today my mac is uncharacteristically slow. I think it's playing a trick making me to think it's turned into a PC.
Storting tea again this morning, thanks to Donna et al...My dad and his cronies somehow got an old Model T up on the roof of the school. (This is probably more of a prom-type prank than an April Fool one.) ...and tipped over outhouses on Halloween, I believe.
I remember a little sort-of prank son Joel (maybe 13?) pulled once. At the end of our dinner, he got up and turned off the hidden tape recorder he'd had running during the whole meal -- to this day we can listen mostly to forks clinking (due to placement of the recorder), but you CAN hear the conversation which is by now kind of interesting!
I'm sure others will pop into my memory as the day progresses...
There is a special subset of practical jokes that are played on kids at camp.
Barb has mentioned a classic: "The Royal Order of Siam." In case someone doesn't know how it goes, kids would be told at some evening campfire that they were doing so well they would be given the chance to enter the Royal Order of Siam. Each kid was instructed to say the magic words over and over: "Ohh Waa Tagoo Siam." They had to repeat that, faster and louder, until they would suddenly recognize that they were IN the Royal Order of Siam.
The classic camp prank was the snipe hunt, a simple concept with infinite variations.
Steve, elaborate on the snipe hunt...
I remember being at my Grandma's, and my cousin Sally and I were eating blackberries from her back yard. Sally thought of rubbing juice from the berries under and around our eyes, came in and told everyone we'd been in a fight with the Sulzback kids...
That was supposed to be Snorting tea...
The Snipe Hunt is such a fixture that it has an excellent Wikipedia page.
A naive person (often a young camper) is taken into the woods at night armed with a flashlight and some sort of bag. The object, the victim is told, is to catch some snipe. In a typical version of this, the doofus is told to make a clucking noise over and over while the other person makes a big loop in the dark to "drive the snipe toward you" so a few can be bagged. The victim is then abandoned, left to cluck in the empty woods until it dawns oh him or her that this is all a trick.
Steve -- an important part of snipe hunting joke is that the snipe hunter usually won't admit to the older/wiser kids that he/she doesn't know what a snipe is. So by trying not to look foolish, you end up looking MORE foolish. Classic human condition!
I came from a family of punsters, not practical jokesters - which mostly meant i was safe from whoopie cushions, but not the slings and arrows of outrageous language use. (Though I have been known to send less than helpful volunteer set construction help in search of a board straightener.)
It's been fun reading everyone else's fun, though! Thanks for the visual of green jello out the nose Donna.
Not a prank, but a near miss -
The story I've been told is that I was almost an AFD baby - it was a planned caesarian, since my mother had already had a caesarian before. The surgeon gave her a choice of Tuesday or Thursday - the 1st or the 3rd of April - since those were the days he did surgeries. My mother picked Thursday, because she thought I would get teased about it if I had to celebrate my birthday on April Fool's Day every year.
I can imagine the sort of birthday gifts I would have received over the years....had my mother had Donna's sense of humor.
Yes, that WAS a lovely visual.
I finally remembered the one that's been nagging at the back of my mind: first time I was at Sister-in-law Bea's (whose husband is a great Gadgeteer) house for large family gathering, I was treated to this toilet prank - a little gadget rigged to go off as soon as someone sits down on said toilet. Of course it had to be me, and it shrieked "Hey, we're working down here!" It was many years before I would go into that bathroom again.
My dad and his family were also pretty regular practical jokers. When my dad was a very little boy of about 6 he would purposely take apart his Uncle Fred's Victrola, which was pretty mean of him since Fred was developmentally disabled and couldn't put it back together by himself. My dad got his back though, since my grandpa would sometimes substitute a rotten egg for a baseball when he was pitching balls to my dad during batting practice.
These antics are making me snigger and stort too, Barbara.
This topic brings to mind Allen Funt's, Candid Camera --was that show on Sundays? One stunt I remember was Fannie Flagg giving out samples of margarine at a supermarket, and the one she was trying to sell customers on was so cold and hard that it broke the knives off in people's hands when they tried to spread it on the cracker. The inferior product was soft and very spreadable. And then there was the one where people came out of a shopping center to find their cars so boxed in between two others that they couldn't even get their doors open.
Anyone else here fans of CC?
Yes, I was also reminded of CC, but I don't remember any of the stunts from the show.
Candid Camera might have been a film short even before it was on TV, something you saw in between trailers and the feature.
I used to memorize Allen Funt's face so he could never fool me with a prank, not that he spent much time in Ames Iowa.
My favorite stunt was the talking mailbox. They wired up one of those large metal post office boxes with a speaker. As people dropped mail in, the voice in the box sassed them (very much like the talking Photo Booth now sometimes seen on Jay Leno's show).
I remember a CC in which a typist was given a typewriter rigged to come apart. She got to the end of a line, and there was the little "ding" indicating it was time to start a new line - remember that? And then she hit the lever to return the carriage, and it slid right off.
Of course, you have to be at least 50 or so to even be able to visualize this prank today.
Boy, I sure sound boring... my family never did much with practical jokes and the extent of April Fools day was a shout of "Cows are out!"... but that wasn't so funny after a while...
I remember CC!
Wow...check out youtube for CC clips, there are many. I can't look at them right now since I'm at work but I will at home. This should be fun, I loved that show!
I only remember two of the pranks I pulled on AFD (my poor brother's birthday). One was when I was eight, I got up extra early and substituted the sugar in the sugar bowl with salt. My sister had some very interesting corn flakeds that morning.
The other, (and my personal favorite) was when I was a freshman in college at Iowa State. My room was directly across the hall from the bathroom. My roommate, Sandy, woke up on April 1st and went to the bathroom to brush her teeth. I had placed a couple of raisens in her toothpaste tube the night before. Oh, the shreiks that emannated from that bathroom!!! What great fun! (Sandy thought so, too.)
Have a great day everyone!
I loved Candid Camera - will check it out.
Audrey - when did you go to ISU, and which dorm?
(I was 66-70, Barton and Maple.)
Oh yes! I remember the defective typewriter and mouthy mailbox on CC too. It was also fun when Allen interviewed little kids.
Another image I'm reminded of today is David Letterman and Chris Elliott eating canned dog food on Letterman, maybe when he was still on NBC? Did anyone else see that and was it REAL dog food?
Ben, I agree - "Cows are out!" does get tiring after awhile. "Bull's loose!" packs a little more punch.
Audrey - I had no idea it was possible to push raisins into a tube of toothpaste. I'll have to try it on my brother.