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Saturday, September 30, 2023
April Fool's antics for devious and unsympathetic only children

April Fool's antics for devious and unsympathetic only children

I remember when that irritating kid who ate his boogers would pull the your-shoe-is-untied joke and I always fell for it, no matter how much of a sarcastic, scrunchy face I made at him.

I remember those times when the fat kid with a bowl cut would put chalk in between the eraser pleats when the teacher left the room. I hated this prank because, no matter how old we got, Bobby Blubber and his stupid bowl cut would always neglect to remember that when the teacher fell for the prank and erased the board with chalk-filled erasers, we would all pay the price with that sharp, chilling screech as they unknowingly dragged chalk across the board.

I remember a lot of stupid shit.

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But while the extent of my April Fool's pranks went only as far as ""Hey, mom, the dog ran away"" when I was young, April 1 has since become one of my favorite holidays.

Freshman year, I called my mom early in the morning and drunkenly told her that I had been arrested for underage drinking and charged with the possession of a fake ID, with fines totaling $745. Considering I was jobless at the time, that price went far beyond her nice-mom barrier, straight into ""Oh hell no"" territory.

Last year, my mom and I were able to successfully convince my step-dad that I had been hit by a car in the crosswalk and was being rushed to the hospital with multiple broken bones and a concussion. Using only my abilities to cry on cue and speak in delirious woman-tones, I was able to fool him – so much so that he actually got in his car and started the five-hour drive to Madison.

But don't worry, I had my pre-med friend say science-y things to him five minutes into the trip and then end the conversation with, ""She's lost a lot of blood and we'll need you to authorize a… APRIL FOOLS. YEAH THAT'S RIGHT, BITCH. WHAT?!""

Okay, so maybe that last sentence didn't happen. You say tomato, I say vodka.

It's a personal goal of mine to top myself each year and I think I succeeded in doing so this year. My mom has been reliably unaware of the protests at the Capitol this past month (not for lack of my insistence that she should be aware, mind you).

Considering she has no idea how many people are at the Capitol each day, whether or not people are being allowed in the Capitol or if people are even still protesting, I've been implementing a plan that has several psychological steps.

I began the week by scaring her with dated, real stories of journalists and photographers being assaulted by protesters (because I know she won't look at the date or city).

Then, I shared with her a documentary about a French circus performer who was trampled in a crowd of panicked circus-goers trying to escape the big top before it burnt down, a story I saw on the Discovery Channel.

On Tuesday, I mentioned that I had been invited to a massive rally, ""The biggest rally yet,"" which was taking place at the Capitol Friday afternoon. By Thursday night, she was fully aware of my plans to attend the ""rally,"" which friend I would be going with, the fact that I was bringing along my camera, camcorder and recorder and planned on trying to get interviews. I made sure she knew that I was in favor of collective bargaining and would, consequently, be hollering and practicing my civil disobedience.

Finally, on April Fool's Day I arranged to have a friend come over and pretend to have just seen me get arrested after refusing to move away from a door in front of which myself and others had locked arms. I hooked my computer up to my stereo system and played really loud YouTube videos of protesters chanting at the capitol in the background while my friend talked, to authenticate the setting.

Shortly after, I called her from an unknown number with an old episode of ""Hill Street Blues"" playing in the background and claimed to be at the Dane County Sherriff's Department being booked for disorderly conduct and would be spending the night in jail until she came in person to bail me out. I'm her only kid – she HAS to come save me. I ended our conversation vaguely, saying that my one phone call was up and I had to leave.

I sent her an email minutes later from a fake e-mail account I had created,, where I revealed my April Fool's prank in procedural police jargon. She wasn't happy. In retrospect, I should've had a few preliminary thoughts about the consequences of having a birthday so close to this devious holiday.

Maybe next year I'll go with ""Hey, mom, the dog ran away"" again.

Comments? Want to share your own pranks? E-mail Stephanie at


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