It's April Fool's Day, which means you've probably already been tricked into believing something amazing and then mocked for your gullibility. Isn't this fun? But for those who want to live vicariously through other people's pranking, here's a collection of reader submissions sent in following my appeal on Friday.
Hooter's or Bust:
"Years ago, a co-worker and I decided to 'prank' our manager in California (this was in ID) by putting a little away message on our MSN messenger that said 'So Long, [company name] it's been great.' We just wanted to see if anyone paid attention to us enough to ask. We were going to explain that we were leaving to go work at the fancy new Hooter's that had just opened (barely a prank, and super lame). My boss IMed me about half an hour later and asked, 'Are you leaving us?' I answered, 'Yes, they just opened a Hooter's here and they're starting out at $13.' WHAT Hooter's would ever pay a person 13 dollars an hour, I don't know, I was about 19 at the time. He responded with, 'What do you make now?' I told him I was making eleven an hour. He said, 'Well let me call (other manager in Idaho), but I think we can bump you up to $14.' Never once did I tell him it was a joke. I got a three dollar raise on April Fools, for the dumbest joke ever."
Save the Date:
"I sent a fake wedding 'save the date' card to all my family and friends. The date was set for April 1st and I named the girl April Narren. 'Narren' in German means the act of fooling someone. So her name is April Fools. I did not Photoshop her in the pics. I went out with a model and a professional photographer."
Dead Men Tell No Tales:
"I attended college an hour and a half from home, and a few times during the semester my dad would pick me up on Fridays so I could come home and visit for the weekend. We were on the interstate driving home, when my dad starts to tell me a story about a time when he was in the Army. I forget the precise details, but it was basically about how he and some buddies went out on the town one evening and had a few drinks. ... The tale becomes a bit more serious and personal all of the sudden — like he's pouring his heart out to me. My dad then says that he and his friends ran into another group of guys and got into an argument. The fight supposedly turned physical, with my dad throwing some punches at one of these guys. Then my dad, in the most serious tone possible, tells me that he grabbed the guy and pushed him off a cliff. The guy died and my dad and his friends managed to cover up the whole sordid tale from the police — this was the first time he'd ever admitted it to another living soul outside of that night.
At this point, I'm horrified. Is my dad just confessing a murder to me? Was this mild-mannered man radically different when he was a 20-year-old kid? Do I tell my mom? Do I tell the police? Do I ask him to stop the car? ... Finally something in the story actually sunk in — the part about 'pushing him off a cliff.' My dad was stationed in Louisiana when he was in the military and while I'd never been there, I was pretty sure there weren't that many cliffs. I finally said, ''Wait a minute, a cliff?' I'd been avoiding even looking at him since he made his 'confession,' but now that I looked over, he was about ready to explode. No longer able to hold it, he started laughing hysterically and kept saying, 'I can't believe you fell for it! You thought I killed a guy! April Fool's!'"
— Steph L.
You Are Not the Father:
"I worked at a small law firm in the late 1980s. Just three attorneys, plus the son of one of them part-time while he was in law school. Me and my pranking cohorts were all women a couple years older than the son — let's call him Mike. He was a sweet kid, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. Had his father not had a job to give him, I suspect he would have had some trouble getting a job. For April Fool's one year, we decided to dummy up a paternity suit and serve it on Mike. We called his sister and got the name of a plausible ex-girlfriend. We found out from the courthouse which judges or city attorneys would issue such a complaint, and which of them would be out of the office on April 1. We got hold of official court stationery and created a legally accurate Summons/Complaint and Order to Show Cause and signed it in the name of the correct person. In those days, the court had official stamps where you could dial in a case number and stamp documents yourself. We picked a number that was currently unassigned and stamped the docs. Then — our masterstroke — we got one of the regular legal messengers to serve Mike in the lobby of the building. We had him going for most of the afternoon — he tried frantically to reach the ex-girlfriend, someone at the courthouse, anyone. It was only when his dad came in (he knew our plans) that the game was up — HE couldn't keep a straight face."
Follow the Signs:
"The public safety officers at my college were not big on following procedure. They always put handwritten signs on things that were broken or to let you know about study curfews. In short, they were idiots. In my junior year, my roommate and I lived in the biggest dorm on campus. It had three entrances and each entrance had a card reader that would let you in only if you swiped your ID card. The card readers were not terribly reliable and it wasn't out of the ordinary for one to randomly not work.
So, being industrious pranksters, my roommate, her boyfriend and I made handwritten signs from "public safety" saying the card reader was broken and redirecting to another entrance. We put this sign up at every entrance and sat back to watch people mill around, confused that ALL the doors were broken. Many waited around for someone to let them in, others just kept walking back and forth hopelessly. Almost no one swiped their cards.
This went on for awhile, until a public safety officer came down on his wee golf cart, spent ten minutes on his walkie talkie and then tried his own ID card. Seeing that it worked, he removed the sign ... on one entrance. So everyone would walk to that entrance to get in, until my roommate decided it was cruel and we removed the other two signs.
We Didn't Start the Fire:
"A friend has been visiting me in LA from the east coast. She left the morning of April 1 to go back home. When I returned from work that day I noticed she had left her cell phone charger and it was still plugged in. I called her and asked if she had left her charger plugged in. When she said yes, I told her my place had burned down and the fire department said it started where her charger was plugged in. I told her I had no insurance and all my things including my guitars and all my clothes were gone. I let this go on for about a minute before I asked her, 'Do you know what the worst part of this is?' She said no choking back the tears. 'That it's April Fool's on you.' She didn't talk to me for a few weeks but now laughs about it."
Not Holding Water:
"Two years ago I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant. I walked over to a male co-worker's desk. Then after talking a little bit the Ziploc bag of water that I had taped under my belly tore ... on purpose. I feigned water bag rupture. Needless to say my co-workers all went into shock. People are coming from all sides ... 'Here sit, what do I do!' I told a friend to get our supervisor. He runs to her desk and brings her back. She was in on the prank and played along. She walked me back to my desk where my team was waiting. Once they knew my water bag broke everyone goes into protection mode. Teamwork kicked in and folks are trying to find my husband who works there, too. He was in on it as well and wasn't answering. I sat at my desk and finally broke the news that it was just a prank. Some thought it was funny but others were truly shocked. A bit much? Yes. Did I feel a little bad afterwards? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. To this day that whole scenario gives me a good laugh. But I'm no idiot. I take April Fool's Day off from now on."
Does your April Fool's Day prank story trump all of these? Leave it in the comments.