Yesterday was a little sad when I noticed the date and didn’t much care. There was a time when I would have been either cautiously on edge all day, or waiting in anticipation for word that my joke had hit it’s mark. Long after Candid Camera, but way before Punkd, my friend Tracy and I played our own practical joke tug-of-war for years. I’ve been the fool and the fooler. It started in the mid 1990’s when she bought her house. A group of us girls helped her move on April 1st. I came up with a marvelous scheme and plotted with the others. It culminated in a phone call from another friend’s brother posing as the loan officer who regretfully informed her that a lien had been found against the home. He concluded with the sad news that she, as the new owner, would be legally responsible. I sat on the floor of the living room, but didn’t have to strain to hear the one sided conversation in the kitchen. She was arguing bitterly. Since he worked for a bank and knew the lingo, he wasn’t going to let her off easily. I guess it went on a little too long because she was pretty upset. I thought she forgot about it, but discovered the next year that I was wrong. I received an affidavit in the mail from the court with notice that I was being sued. Apparently, while using my car, my boyfriend had struck a family’s dog on the very day they were leaving for Disney World. The dog was killed and their vacation ruined. I was being sued for the cost of their trip and the pain and suffering of the children who witnessed the horrible scene. It was more than an hour and long after I left a seething message full of expletives for my boyfriend, when I started to question the very convincing document. Why would it come in the regular mail? Wait! Tracy is a paralegal and it’s April 1st. Burned! I scored next when Tracy got engaged. I sought the permission of her fiancée, of course. She received a letter in the mail from the jeweler on forged letterhead explaining that the diamond ring she had sized was now a fake. A former employee had been arrested after many months of stealing merchandise from customers and replacing it with worthless imitations. While they were very sorry, they were only obligated to inform customers since they were deemed exempt from legal responsibility since they fired him before the crime was discovered. They advised her to talk with her insurance agent and the local police regarding restitution. Obviously I knew that she had not yet insured it. The last joke was at my expense, but I managed to turn it around. I received a letter from the JC Penney headquarters in Texas recalling my couch. I couldn’t believe it. This was the couch that I had searched for high and low for many months before I found the right look and size for my odd shaped living room. They declared it was flammable and a fire hazard. I was requested to return it to the closest store as soon as possible for a refund. It wasn’t until I was on the phone with JC Penney that it dawned on me. Wait a minute. It’s April 1st! The salesman found it very funny. I didn’t say a word until I left her a message a couple of days later. In my most exasperated voice, I told her I had taken my couch back to the store and become so aggravated with their confusion and the chaos of the recall, that I left it. I was now couchless and boycotting JC Penney. I knew she was coming over that evening and that it would worry her all day. I was going to push the couch into the other room when she arrived, but I was too lazy. Now you might be thinking that we’re both pretty naïve for falling for these scams every year. But, the truth is that there were sometimes years in between jokes. In the off years, Tracy and I would join forces or individually prank others. Our friend, Charlene was the easiest victim. There was the year that Charlene received a phone message from the travel agency telling her that her trip to Jamaica the next day with her husband had been cancelled. She was given a number to call if she had any questions; the lesbian hotline. Another year, Tracy located a spare key for her car, drove to her office during lunch hour, and moved it clear across the parking lot. What great memories. I think this blog has stirred the sleeping prankster in me. Maybe next year….