Just Foolin'

I'm a pretty good liar.

It's surprising, really, since I don't get any practice. I hold an extremely high value for truth telling, so I never lie, fib or stretch the truth.

Black, white, big or little, lies don't exit my mouth. In fact, I never even say, "I promise" or "I swear" when speaking because there's no need to emphasize to others that what I'm saying is true.

It is. It always is.

Except for one day of the year: April 1st.

April Fools' Day stirs up my inner prankster. It's the one day a year when I'm known to lie straight to your face. And the more outrageous the better. If the story is wildly outlandish and I can get someone to believe it, I find a sick sort of delight.

And I can usually get people to believe me. I think it has to do with that 364-days-a-year truth telling I do. When someone tells the truth all the time, you're naturally inclined to accept the words coming out of her mouth as gospel. Sprinkle in just enough true-ish facts and you've captured your listener.




It's wrong on so many levels. April Fools' Day is a twisted, twisted holiday.

It all started when I would pull pranks on my younger sister and brother growing up. Circuses in our yard, surprise trips to the ice cream shop, claims that we were getting a new puppy. All ending in, "April fool!" 

I loved it! Them? Not so much.

One year, in the span of a five minute ride to high school, I convinced my boyfriend that my family was moving in two weeks and my parents were refusing to let me finish my senior year. The ruse included backstory about my dad's job, description of my adolescent pleadings with my parents, and even a few tears....on my part.....and, unfortunately, his.

Even surprising myself by my straight-up acting (read: lying) and heartstring-pulling ability, I revealed the joke as we walked into school. To say that he was mad would be an understatement. To say that he refused to talk to me the rest of the day would be more accurate.

A few years ago, I convinced my kids that their school had decided to abolish summer vacation. I explained that the school board had studied year-round school and voted to institute the calendar change immediately.

Now, anyone who's gone to school or taught school knows that by April 1st, you're counting down the days until summer vacation. So, imagine how devastated my kids were. Picture them sobbing in the van, screaming about the injustice of it all.

Now picture me assuring them that I would enjoy the swimming pool for them. I would go for picnics and bike rides and I would be sure to soak up as much summer on their behalf as I could.

I'm the worst.

They were completely relieved, but mad, when I told them the truth. April fool!

That's the downside of April Fools' Day. The prank victim's anger and shame. What you mean as a joke leaves them feeling foolish for believing you. And I've seen April Fools' Days jokes go totally wrong. False pregnancies and false proposals are never funny. I'd put false divorces right up there, too.

I wish there was a way to pull pranks on people that left everyone laughing. Situations where all parties end up giggling, high-fiving, and back slapping.

Because I do like joking around. But, I do not like hurting people's feelings.

Any advice for a would-be prankster with a heart of gold? Do you like April Fools' Day and playing pranks? Share your advice and best pranks below!