Friday, April 8, 2011

Pity the Fool

I've always enjoyed April Fools' Day.  When I was a kid, my brother Eric played a great trick on our mom, running up the front sidewalk with catsup dripping down his forearm screaming bloody murder.  It looked like his hand had been chewed off by a starving wolverine.  By the time Eric got around to yelling "April Fool," our poor mother was apoplectic.  He got swatted for the prank, of course, but it was well worth it.  To me and our other brother Bobby anyway.

During my teaching career, April Fools' Day was a wonderful opportunity to teach my fifth graders all sorts of handy life skills such as the proper placement of a Whoopie Cushion, the "dollar on a string" trick, and the ever-popular plastic dog poop on the lunch tables.  We also worked together to spread the tomfoolery to other classrooms.

One April first, I had about ten of my students come in early.  We convinced the custodian (a couple Snickers bars took care of it) to open one of the sixth grade classrooms, and the students and I snuck in and swiped all of the chairs.  We left a ransom message on the white board:


Here's the best part.  The sixth graders had never heard of the "I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay" song.  Their teacher, Mr. Linsin, was a good friend of mine and I knew he was a big Monty Python fan.  So before his class could come retrieve their chairs, Mr. Linsin had to take about fifteen minutes to teach and rehearse the song.  They did a fine job, if we're going to be honest about it.  Every last verse.  Cracked my class up.

The next year, Linsin exacted his revenge.  When my students and I entered our classroom, all the desks had been turned upside down.  Even mine.  Apparently the custodian was a double agent, his allegiance easily turned by the offer of Snickers and Kit Kats.

Can't blame him, really.

While April Fools' Day is usually filled with good-natured and harmless jocularity, every now and then someone with a tenuous grasp on the concept of "funny" will take things too far.

According to an article in the Victorville (Ca.) Daily Press, a woman -- for privacy's sake we'll refer to her as 24-year old Marlina Flores of Apple Valley -- is currently doing some time in the slammer for making a prank phone call to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department saying that she and her two-week-old infant had been kidnapped and thrown in the back of a pickup truck.  When the call came over the police radio, deputies immediately dropped their chocolate iced crullers, put down their lattes, and responded.

I'm kidding of course.  They finished their donuts, and then responded to the call.

As "24-year old Marlina Flores of Apple Valley" stayed on her cell phone giving the "location" of the "pickup truck" to the dispatcher, deputies patrolled the "area" trying to find the missing "victims."  After an hour of searching, the deputies gave up and returned to Dunkin' Donuts for a couple more maple bars.

Ha!  I'm just kidding again!  Seriously, authorities became suspicious when they couldn't locate the pickup truck and after some investigation, they found "24-year old Marlina Flores of Apple Valley" safe at home with her child.  The deputies, following standard San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department procedure, secured the child safely in her crib and returned to the living room where they beat "24-year old Marlina Flores of Apple Valley" senseless with their night sticks and whisked her away to the pokey.

Makes sense, if you think about it.  If the authorities go easy on April Felons like this, it would be easy for criminals to "April Fool" their way out of all sorts of crimes.   Hell, I'd do it.  Every April first, I'd put on a ski mask and waltz right into the local Bank of America and hand the teller a slip of paper saying, "Put a million dollars in this paper bag."  One of two things would happen.  Either I'd get away with it and you'd never hear from me again or, more likely, a SWAT team would be waiting right outside when I exited the bank with my bag of money.  At that point I would of course holler "APRIL FOOL" and we'd all have a good laugh and share a box of Krispy Kremes.

As for "24-year old Marlina Flores of Apple Valley," the first night in jail her cellmate totally got her with the "what's that on your shirt?" gag.


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Danger Boy said...

Love the lumberjack song bit. My chem teacher did an April Fools gag one year, spreading a small amount of nitrogen tri-iodide in the hallway. Nothing like a little contact explosive (just noise and smoke, really) to really get students hopping!
Our science department was like that.

notactuallygod said...

The what's on your shirt gag is a lot better than the "what's in your ass" gag they play in some pokies.

Eva Gallant said...

One April Fools Day, my students turned all their desks toward the back of the room, and when I came in, they were all hard at work as though nothing were unusual.

laughingmom said...

In our weird house - everyday except April 1st is April Fool's day - you never know when we will strike! It keeps our friends on their toes. Two nights ago one of them almost got a portapotty delivery but we didn't have a trailer on hand...

EmptyNester said...

Hey! That's our favorite song! And now, I'll be singing it all afternoon. Until Hubs gets home. And then he'll be singing it all night long. LOL

Suldog said...

I'm such a sucker for April 1st. Most folks I know seem to realize I'm too gullible to be much of a challenge, but my co-worker had me believing that Rajon Rondo had received a three-week suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct towards a referee. It was plausible, as I had seen Rondo gesture toward a ref the previous night and my buddy knew that.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I love The Lumberjack Song AND April Fool's Day! Although, maybe you shoulda upped the ante with the custodian and bought him an In-n-Out...or two.

On the new blog, every Friday in April, I'm posting a gag I've done in years past. If you don't have it (and want it) let me know and I'll give you the URL.

Steph said...

Aww, I missed out on April Fool's in the workplace this year; I was in Hawaii. I guess that's okay with me thought :D

lime said...

the lumberjack prank is hilarious, though i worry about young folks not being able to sing the lumberjack song. rest assured, my children have been taught well.

Fred Miller said...

When Michael Palin did a documaentary on Tibet, an old mystic asked him to sing a song. He could not remember the words to "Lumberjack".

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