April Fool's Memories
We visited the Cavaliere family yesterday. Katrina and Dan had volunteered to fix lunch for all of us, since Natalia had been invited to attend a friend’s birthday party in the afternoon. I had seen a couple of April Fool’s website pages in the morning, and I was thinking as we drove to the Cavaliere home that Natalia and Joel would probably be trying to pull April Fool’s jokes on us while we were there. As Sue and I walked into their house, we saw that Natalia had one arm in a sling, and Joel had an Ace bandage on one of his wrists. Natalia explained how they had been riding their bikes in their cul-de-sac, had run into each other, and had gone to the doctor, as a result. She had a dislocated elbow and a bad cut, and Joel had a sprained wrist. As Sue and I were sympathizing with them, they suddenly shouted, “April Fools”! They had completely sucked us in. It was hilarious. They planned to pull the same stunt on their Uncle Mason, when he arrived. Mason is not a gullible person, especially around Natalia and Joel. Mason soon arrived and Natalia went through the routine, barely able to keep from grinning or laughing, and the rest of us worked hard to contain ourselves. I couldn’t believe Mason bought it hook, line, and sinker. He nearly fell over, when the kids yelled, “April Fools”! They had done such a good job of fooling us that they didn’t even try anything else all day.
Katrina and Dan also had planned a funny April Fool’s lunch. When we sat down to eat, they had a “birthday cake” on the table, with candles lit. However, the “cake” was actually a meatloaf with mashed potato “icing.” It was very funny, and it was delicious. At the end of the meal, Natalia asked whether we could have some of the special dessert they had fixed. She said their cat Cheddar had gotten involved with the preparation of the dessert, but wouldn’t explain what she meant by that. Katrina brought out a large foil baking pan and removed the cover. Inside was what appeared to be a cat’s litter box with appropriate cat messes. The “litter” was Grape-Nuts cereal, and the “messes” were chocolate cookies shaped appropriately. The color, shape, size, and overall appearance of the cookies, especially with “litter” clinging to them was unbelievable! It looked exactly like a cat’s litter box that needed cleaning. We practically had to force ourselves to pick up a cookie and bite into it (I don’t believe Mason ever quite managed it). Of course, they were excellent, but the idea was difficult to overcome. It was indeed a hilarious and good April Fool’s lunch.
Last Thursday, Natalia and Joel had an early-release day at school, while Katrina and Dan had their regular school schedule. So, we picked up the kids and spent a couple of hours with them. The four of us were talking about April Fool’s Day, and Sue and I described for them what we used to experience on that day when we were in high school. Our school system in those days did not have the Spring Break that our local school systems do today. But, the school administration knew that April Fool’s Day would be chaotic at school, so they essentially set aside the day, each year, as a fun day. We reported to our first class, took roll, and then adjourned to the auditorium. The time until noon was spent watching and heckling any kids who wanted to get on stage and “perform.” There were actually a few serious performances of one kind or another, but the “acts” were mostly improvised on-the-spot and were either hilarious or really stupid. I believe some of the teachers may have even joined in with something now and then. After lunch, we again took roll, and returned to the auditorium. I think we may have been released early on that day. It was the only day that we were allowed to bring water guns to school, and to use them, without having them confiscated. One year, I had purchased some practical joke items from a mail order catalog and amused myself and some other fellows by putting “itching powder” down the shirt of a friend and blowing “sneezing powder” into the air, both while we were in the auditorium. I also freely shared my “hot pepper” chewing gum, which I had wrapped with genuine Wrigley’s chewing gum labels. During the lunch hour, we (as upper classmen) typically “drug main” by the carloads. On April Fool’s Day, the parade of cars included loads of water balloons, which we tried to toss into each other’s vehicles. All-in-all, it was a crazy, fun day, and I believe the school administration was very smart to conduct it in that manner.