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April Fools’ good for pranks, marriage proposals

By Tammy Keith

This article was published April 1, 2012 at 2:48 a.m.

— Have you been tricked yet today?

It is April Fools’ Day, and at my house, I know there will be a prank or two.

A co-worker pointed out that I would be writing my column on this date, and she said I could use a story of hers.

She swears her dad was “a court jester” in a previous life, because he LOVED playing tricks on the family.

On April Fools’ Day, he would slap his hand on the bathroom door and scare the girls when they were putting on makeup, or slap the table when they were trying to take a drink during a meal.

So, the last time April Fools’ fell on a Sunday, my co-worker was in a kickball game and heard a “pop” of her right radius when a player on the other team tried to tag her, tripped over third base and ran into her.

She called her father, told him she hurt her arm and asked if she should go to a clinic or emergency room. He guffawed in response.

“He thought I was kidding,” she said. He got serious when he realized his little girl was really hurt.

She’s still playing kickball on Sundays, but she told me that today she’ll sit this one out. Just in case.

In our house, my husband and older son are the pranksters.

You better wake up and realize what day it is, or you’ll get jolted awake by something unpleasant.

Once my older son put a realistic-looking rubber snake on a piece of plastic wrap covering the toilet, and shut the lid, so I would get a shock.

My screams are still reverberating around the world.

Fake spiders or cockroaches in drawers or cereal boxes — having two boys meant the possibilities of gross props were endless.

Make that three boys. My husband took a rubber snake to work one year and had fun putting it in co-workers’ chairs.

He felt bad when one guy went pale and looked like he was going to faint.

He had a phobia of snakes, and it wasn’t funny to him. He couldn’t even look at it when he knew it was a rubber snake.

I remember a story about an elderly woman who was visiting a relative, and the person had put a rubber snake in the garden to ward off birds.

The woman walked slowly out to the garden without a word, took a hoe and hacked the rubber snake to pieces.

Then she turned and slowly walked back. A guy who used to come by this office had wild tales of tricks he’d played on people, and not just on April Fools’. I thought some of them were horrible, and I wasn’t sure whether to believe him. He said he had his mother convinced she’d won the lottery and, bless her heart, she was about to spend it when he fessed up. If I were her, the will would be reworked.

I will be on my guard today. My younger son isn’t much of a prankster, and my husband pretty much knows I’ll kill him first and ask questions later if he scares me.

He proposed to me 25 years ago today. It never entered my mind that he was kidding, so I said “yes.”

Some people think the joke’s on him.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Three Rivers, Pages 117 on 04/01/2012

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