Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 5, 2013

Never too late for April Fool’s Day

By Lindsay Eckert
Tribune lifestyle editor

Kokomo — This will be my last column for the [friday] section, as Kokomantis has been promoted from corner-side spectator to Lifestyle Editor ...  Just kidding, late April Fool’s Day joke! I look forward to writing my column every week just like I look forward to my favorite “holiday” every year.

For 364 days, I plan pranks of all varieties for my beloved day that’s dedicated to flipping my family and friends out. My mom and I love the “holiday” so much we just can’t let it stay confined in its little Apr. 1 calendar square; therefore, the comedic celebration continues for days, sometimes months. I’ve received phone calls as late as June when I hear, “Oh my gosh! The Jessups still have their [Christmas] tree up!” Only to be trailed by a laughter-filled, “Late April Fools!”

Although the jokes lose their luster with each turn of the calendar page, the ones designed for the day of fooling friends and family aren’t just lustrous, they’ll knock you off your chair and make you drop the phone – especially if you’re my grandma.

The poor lady can’t catch a break when the calendar first flips its page to April. She’s gullible, she’s dramatic, she’s southern and she’s everyone’s favorite target to fool. The key is to get to her first. So, come 6 a.m. every April Fool’s Day: I’m up, I'm ready and I'm waiting to beat out the rest of the family. I’m like an April Fool’s Day jaguar, I wait until they’re comfortable in their morning routine: I let them dish out their scrambled eggs and pour their coffee. Then, I attack before they have a chance to open the paper to view the date that foreshadows their fate in my world of ultimate pranking.

When I was in college the attack rendered my grandma speechless with the phone lying on the floor:

“Hi, Gran. You know how Dad is really wanting a Labradoodle? Well, I got him one but I had to use the emergency credit card to do it.”

“What?!” Gran nearly screamed.  

“I knew you’d be excited for him as you want him to be happy and it was only $2,200.”

“What?!” she repeated as the second part of the word was muffled while the phone fell to the floor.  

Silence.  Some monotone moaning.  Silence.

“I’m not sure about this,” Gran said as she picked herself and the phone up.

“Also, you did such a great job training Josh’s dog I thought I’d just drop this puppy off with you and you could train it too. They said it has some issues with chewing and stuff, but how could you pass up a good deal like this?”

“It about killed me to train Buzz,” she said exhausted with the idea.

“Gran, how can you train one of your grandkids’ dogs and refuse to do the same for me? Especially since it’s for Dad.”

[Before you think I’m awful: I have a young grandma and at the time she was younger than 70 and in good health. I’d never do that to her now. But, there is a time and place and both came together melodically in that moment.]

She bit the bait and I reeled her in as the day’s pranking prize. The conversation about “Buddy” lasted nearly an hour, ending with her saying she’d go ahead and set up the utility room for the puppy-to-be. I ended the call and held my triumphant trophy of pranking pride high into the air for about two minutes, then called her back.

“Hey, Gran I forgot to tell you… Happy April Fool’s Day!”

“You little sh**!!! I should kill you!” she replied with a laughter-filled sigh of relief.

Here’s to another year of death threats from my grandma. Happy Late April Fool's Day, Kokomo Tribune readers!

[friday] editor/ Pranking prowler