25 Years Ago - Today

Put on your mental armor! It is April Fools' Day!

I am not gullible. Truly. It takes a lot to really, really get me to fall for much of anything. I am sure it has much to do with my inner skeptic. So, April Fools’ Day aficionados please do not waste your time on me.

Still, there was a time, “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” – okay, so it was a while ago on a continent sort of far away – my father pulled a successful April Fools’ prank on me that, to this day, remains the only memorable prank on said day in my oft warped memory.

April 1, 1983 – Friday – I was eight.

As a child I was usually brought out of my sleep and into my fuzzy senses by the singing that my father loved to torture me with each and every morning. His choice of song was usually one of the following:

“Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine …”
“’Morning glory! How are you today …”
“Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay my, oh my, what a wonderful day …”
(Be glad I am typing … not singing. Be extra glad that you have never heard my father sing … well, most of you. Sheer torture.)

However, this morning twenty-five years ago was different. I woke to my father bursting forth into the room to tell me that I had slept in and missed
the van to school and I needed to hurry, hurry, hurry! At which point I am sure I vaulted out of bed because I remember scrambling around my room looking for clothing and getting dressed at world record pace.

Now, you have to take into account two very important factors at this point:

1. I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person. When I was
adopted those who had been caring for me during the first three weeks of my life sent me off with my new parents and the following warning: “She has her nights and days confused. Good luck.” Yes, well, I haven’t changed much since then … nor had I by the age of eight. Waking me up has always been an adventure and I don’t do it well.

2. My father never, ever, ever, overreacts to anything. Ever. He is outgoing and rather anal about certain things, but he is very analytical and takes all things into account before he makes a big deal out of something. It is a rather admirable quality.

So, here we are … that Friday morning in 1983 … my father strangely excitable and me racing sleepily around the house. I remember brushing my teeth. I remember grabbing the lunch that was on the counter pre-made and ready to go in my book bag. I remember kissing my mother goodbye and I remember being quite concerned that my father was going to be angry that he would have to drive my lazy butt into school since I had missed my ride. And, I remember running out the door, jumping down the four steps of the entryway and running toward the car before I stopped with a skid amidst scattering gravel in the middle of the driveway. There I stood … in the dark. Dark! The sun had not even come up yet and there I was outside, like an idiot (a hungry idiot with no breakfast), as the truth of what was happening reached my non-morning-person blurry brain. I am quite sure that I was one hell of a cranky eight year old for the rest of the day.

You would think that I would have noticed that there was no light coming through the windows - especially since the event took place in Kenya where the sun comes up at 7am and goes down at 7pm and there is no such thing as Daylight Saving Time (stupid practice). You would also think that I would have noticed the obvious absence of my older brother. If I had missed the van then surely he had as well. Where was he? He was still happily snoozing in his bed … that’s where he was. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Still – I had been punked and my father had pulled it off beautifully.

Perhaps it is the memory of this event that brings forth an extra measure of skepticism each year when the morning of April 1st eventually comes around. Perhaps I quite simply refuse to be made a fool.

“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.” ~Charles Lamb


  1. Yes, it is. Of course - I didn't find it funny at the time. I need to ask my father if he even remembers pulling that prank.

  2. As another non-morning person, I find that cruel, cruel, cruel! ;) I actually did that to myself once. I rushed to get myself ready for school, then realized it was 5 in the mornning. Doh!

  3. Now that you mention it, I had a similar experience in reverse. I had a dream that the bus was outside honking for me. I woke up thinking I was glad it wasn't real only to find out it was. The honking in my dream was the real bus outside honking. It was the first time I can remember where outside things were incorporated into my dream reality.

  4. jason - It was cruel! I thought about doing the same to my children this morning and I just couldn't do it (mainly because I refused to get up that much earlier in order to make it convincing).

    phantom ~ Rarely do real things incorporate themselves into my dreams as they are happening. It is always a novelty when they do and it is usually some sort of loud noise.

  5. What a fantastic April Fool's Day memory! I thought you were going to say you went outside and remembered that it was Saturday. I might just have to file this one away for future use....

  6. Very funny indeed, lol! Did you get him back?

  7. aine ~ Yes, it is. Althouh my children know the story so I can't use it on them.

    jim ~ I haven't gotten him back. Maybe it is time. I shall have to concoct something.

  8. LOL! I'm way too gullible indeed...I've fallen for most pranks pulled on me. Earliest April Fools memory being one very convincing picture in the Sunday Nation, years ago, of a Mermaid family... Yup! Daddy, Mummy and Kids in all their mer-splendour... supposedly sighted on the shores of Lake Naivasha. And I believed them... really.

  9. Mermaids? In Lake Naivasha? How would they survive the hippos?LOL!!! That is priceless! :o)

  10. I so wanted to believe it was true... You can just imagine my disappointment the next morning when they revealed the truth.

  11. That's a pretty good prank...you should get him back for that. Have fun as you scheme.... ;)


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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