I think it all started the day my door was chained shut — chained to my sister’s door across the hall. Or maybe it was the annual short-sheeting of my bed. Or the trail of black beans spilling out of my toliet. I’m not sure the exact tipping point ... but I am not a fan of April Fools Days.
Why? I have a younger brother.
“As a kid, I remember getting really amped up for it,” he told me this morning. “ ‘Get ready, everybody, we’re going to do some pranks!’ It’s a day where you could just be super-naughty. The opposite of Christmas.”
But it wasn’t everybody doing some pranks. It was just him sneaking around the back to shut off our electricity, or putting cellophane over the toilet seats, or creeping up behind someone and scaring them with the scream “April Fools!”
“Did other people celebrate it that way?” he asked me.
Cruelly torturing your sisters? Maybe not exactly that way, but yes, the day is an excuse to be super-naughty.
And, in our post-Pranked, post-Jackass world, the hoaxes have gone from simple short-sheeting of the bed to elaborate jokes and embellished tall tales. Even universities, news organizations and technology companies get in on the game. Johns Hopkins announced last year that it would finally remove that extra ‘s’ in its name (that one I kind of wished were true). Taco Bell claimed to buy the Liberty Bell and rename it the Taco Liberty Bell one year.
Throw in the joy of videotaping reactions, and April Fool’s has become an industry of mirth-making.
I want to know: What was the best prank ever played by you or on you? What has been the meanest, smartest, best trickery played in honor of the Day of Fools? Let us know in the comments or by using the hashtage #aprilfoolsprank. We’ll add some of the answers here.