Tuesday, April 1, 2008


In 7th grade I thought I was quite the prankster. No, I never did the saran wrap on the toilet or rubber band around the kitchen sink sprayer, but I did play a mighty fine April Fools' Day joke on my dad; and from this I gained first hand experience as to why you never pick a fight with someone bigger, smarter or more ruthless than you.

It all started with a mid-day phone call to Dad's office. Jan, his secretary, told me that he was out to lunch but that he had his cell phone on him (yes, my dad had a cell phone--a huge, lug it around in a suit case cell phone--in 1991). I had built up the courage to make the initial phone call, so I wasn't about to stop there...I dialed his cell phone from the main office at my middle school. When he answered, I delivered the news that I had been expelled or suspended (I can't remember which as neither of them seems at all believable to me know) and that he needed to pick me up from school immediately. I must have been fairly convincing as he said he was on his way.

I hung up and had a hardy laugh with a friend who was planning to play the same trick on her mom. I don't really know where we came up with this idea or why we thought it was funny, but at the time it was hilarious. After the laugh, I called my dad back to say "April Fools!" He was not laughing. He just left a client at lunch. I was in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Nothing really came of my prank. I think he said that I had him and he was glad I called back within a short time frame. I think he also said something along the lines of 'pay back is a bitch' but he may or may not have actually said 'bitch'; I can't recall.

A year went by.

In 8th grade I got braces. I actually liked having braces as it made me feel older--and got me out of school for check-ups. In March my mom took me to the orthodontist and my next appointment happened to be scheduled on April 1. My mom scheduled it; I thought nothing of it. As April Fools' Day drew nearer, I asked my dad if he had planned his revenge--he said he had a few things he was thinking about, but nothing was planned yet.

The morning on my ortho appointment, my mom could no longer take me and my dad took me to the office instead. The whole way there I was skeptical, I kept questioning him about what he was going to have them do to me. His response was that my orthodontist was a busy person and it was a professional office--how would he ever convince them to help him play a joke on me? He's in sales--he's very convincing.

My appointment was very routine: assistants coming in and out and changing my bands and tightening brackets and then the orthodontist came in. It was an X-ray appointment. He reviewed them and said that I wasn't making the kind of progress he had hoped for. The assistant came in with some kind of contraption...he explained that it was Reverse-Pull Head Gear and that I needed to wear it 24 hours a day for a month and then we would re-evaluate my progress. As the assistant fitted me I tried to negotiate: only at night for 2 months--3 months--an entire year! No. No. No.

They handed me a mirror and tears were streaming down my face. The office was silent. My dad leaned over and said, "April Fools' Day." My jaw dropped (well, as far as it could with the face mask on) and I was immediately relieved. He put out his hand and offered, "Truce."

Now you may think that my dad is horrible and mean and evil and 'how could he do that to his daughter--watch her cry?' and all of that. I get it, but really, I don't think it was any worse than me calling him out of a client lunch pretending that I was in massive trouble at school. He said he didn't have this planned all along, but when the opportunity arose that morning he called the ortho office and asked if they could help him out. He didn't know what was in store, only that it would be something mortifying to a teenage girl.

So now we have a truce and a funny story. I'm glad I can let April Fools' Day come and go without worry. Any pranks you care to share?

1 comment:

-R- said...

Those are some serious pranks! I've never done anything quite like that. It sounds fun, but I definitely fear the retribution.