This Friday is April Fools’ Day, when those who love practical jokes most take the opportunity to get a good laugh at a friend, colleague or family member’s expense.
There are ideas galore on the Internet for good April Fools’ Day pranks, from the silly to the borderline profane. Some of the ones fit for print in a family-friendly publication such as the Transcript Bulletin include:
• Putting a “For Sale” sign on somebody else’s car with their phone number on it.
• Filling your boss’ cubicle at work with either balloons or packing peanuts.
• Placing a balloon on the end of the exhaust pipe of someone’s car.
• Filling someone’s showerhead with Life Savers candy or bouillon cubes.
• Rigging someone’s Diet Coke with a Mentos candy, causing the Diet Coke to fizz uncontrollably.
• Buying a dozen donuts, removing the donuts from the box, replacing them with vegetables and offering the box to coworkers.
• Painting a bar of soap with clear nail polish and leaving it in the shower.
• Making a batch of caramel apples that are actually onions.
• Changing Google’s language settings on someone’s computer.
• Switching the letters on a colleague’s keyboard.
• Putting a “Please Use Other Door” sign on a building that only has one entrance.
• Replacing the cream filling in an Oreo cookie with toothpaste.
• Raising a colleague’s office chair and placing an air horn under the seat.
• Hiding an alarm clock in someone’s room and setting it for the middle of the night.
• Putting food coloring in the hand soap dispenser at work.
The Transcript Bulletin also received submissions of readers’ own prank ideas, as well as memories of Aprils gone by:
• “I called my grandma telling her I was from the Murray City Water Department and told her not to flush her toilet for 24 hours. She totally believed me. I disguised my voice when I made the call.”
• “My favorite is putting a rubber band on the sink sprayer and aiming it so the first person to use the sink gets a face full of water. My new apartment doesn’t have a sprayer though.” (Editor’s Note: Other commenters noticed that this prank’s victim often is already having a bad day even before being sprayed in the face. Do this one at your own risk.)
• “My dad liked to prank us at Thanksgiving. He would make the cream cheese celery sticks. Occasionally, he would substitute shortening for cream cheese. So gross! I bet it would work in place of cupcake frosting.”
• “When my sister was still in high school, she asked the principal to write up a fake suspension note saying they found alcohol in her locker and they recommend therapy. On the back, it said ‘April Fools.’ My sister had it on the table for my dad and he was so mad he grounded her and started yelling. She, getting nervous, kept telling him to read the back. He screamed ‘I don’t want to see the … back, the front is bad enough!’ He finally did as she asked, he sat down, calmed down and laughed for hours. Said it was the best prank he had seen. He took it to work to show his friends. It was priceless.”
• “My two favorites were putting mayo in doughnuts for my co-workers and recording their first unsuspecting bites; the other is when I put out an ad out for free baby pygmy goats with my boyfriend’s phone number to text.”
In the Transcript Bulletin’s thorough research of popular April Fools’ Day pranks — many of which we will visit upon our coworkers come Friday morning — we discovered that many of them are food-related, whether it be the geyser-like qualities of Mentos and Diet Coke or hard-boiling an entire carton of eggs and then placing them all back in the refrigerator. Apparently, many of us didn’t listen when our parents told us not to play with our food.
But, where and when did the April Fools’ Day tradition begin? It was first mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” in the late 14th century, but didn’t really gain traction in popular culture until the 1800s. While it is not a nationally-recognized holiday, it remains popular throughout much of the Western world.
Thus, foolishness has pervaded on April 1 for well over a century.
And, on Friday, more foolishness will abound.
Enjoy, fellow pranksters.
(Editor’s Note: While the Transcript Bulletin does not advocate doing any such things to a friend or foe, there are plenty of other ideas where these came from, according to this reporter’s search of the Internet — despite the fact that someone had changed his Google language settings to “Swedish Chef” of Muppets fame.
Several other popular options were originally part of this list, but were deemed inappropriate for Transcript Bulletin readers. Not only did they violate those standards, but also the standards of common decency. Also, April Fools!)