It’s April Fool’s Day. Want to talk about “fake news!” It used to be one of my favorite days of the year. These days, however, the PC Police have made April Fool’s Day a mere shadow of its former glory. We have lost our collective sense of humor. So, today, I will regale you with some tales of April Fool’s Day from years past.
I can remember when I was growing up, the Union Sun & Journal would have a big, front page piece that was supposed to be a joke. How many people fell for the story about a bridge being built from Olcott to Canada? How about the Thruway Authority taking over the Erie Canal, and paving the bed of the canal from North Tonawanda to the Hudson River as an expressway across the state? There are probably more than a few people who wish that would have actually happened. I am not one of them.
Me? I’ve played my share of practical jokes on and off April Fool’s Day. There have been some doozies, I swear. Sometimes I’m surprised that I still have some friends. Last year’s “argument” with George Root was very minor in comparison to the others I’ve pulled.
When I was working for TR Services and Adelphia, we were the kings of practical jokes. Some of them cost us some money. Some cost us a day or so of angry friends. Mostly it was just a barrel of laughs, some short term anger, and a lot of great memories.
One time, I had my wife call a coworker’s voicemail on a Friday night to pretend that she was a waitress from the restaurant he and I went to that afternoon. She told him how she took the number off the side of the work van and how she thought he was cute. Maybe they could get together for lunch sometime? On Monday, my coworker came up to me all excited that the waitress had called him. I want to wait until lunchtime to tell him the truth, but immediately, I could not stop laughing. When he found it we were pulling his leg, he was not happy that day. Later, we had a lot of laughs about it, though.
An easy one was the time I took the hubcaps off another coworker’s van and filled them with stones before replacing them. At low speeds, the sound was amazing. Little did I know, but that same morning our boss decided to have us ride together. My coworker heard the noise on the ride out to the jobsite, and on the way back, he heard it again. As we pulled into the parking lot, he had his head out the window trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. He ended up jumping out of the the van while it was still in motion to see if he could unravel the mystery. Before we died in a fiery, 5 mile per hour, head-on crash with a parked dumpster, I went over the console to stop the van.
We had a couple of guys in Texas for training and we called him a few days before he was scheduled to return. The message was that they were going to be laid off once they got back to Buffalo. While extraordinarily funny, those guys did not find it humorous at all. It may or may not have been an expensive joke.
My favorite practical joke at work was epic. Ron, one of our fellow technicians, got into an accident in his work van. Whenever that happened, we had to get drug tested and we were not allowed to drive a work vehicle. So, he was driving the family station wagon for the week until the results of the drug test came back. He would have to leave home early to take his wife to work, and then pick her up at the end of the day.
On the day the results were supposed to come back, we had the receptionist call Ron and tell him that there was a problem with his sample. He would have to go back, retake the test, and spend another week driving his own vehicle. He was fine on the phone, but after he hung up, he was livid. He slammed things around as he packed up his stuff to take the 25 minute drive to the drug testing facility. We let him leave and then called him to tell him it was a joke just about the time he would have been pulling into the parking lot of the medical office. We then scattered to the winds. We did not want to be around when he got back.
Yes, I love those practical jokes. But, do you know who loves this holiday even more than me? George Root. Today is George’s second favorite holiday of the year. He lives for the jokes, the fake news, and overall shenanigans related to April Fool’s Day. So, if you’re friends with him, make sure you help him “celebrate” the day. Go ahead, try to fool him. Heck. Why limit yourself to just today? George loves it so much, he’ll celebrate it every day of the year. It’s the quickest way to his heart.
Craig Bacon loves playing pranks. Especially on his closest friends. He’ll think of something good for George at some point during the day. Probably when he least expects it.