Every family has a practical joker. In our house, it was my younger brother. However, in his case, the practical jokes were more like bald-faced lies, that I fell for every time. This always aggravated me, like I should have seen it coming. Just like Charlie Brown and the football. No matter how many times Lucy yanked that pigskin away, Charlie Brown always wound up flat on his back.
Since we have recently passed April Fools Day, which takes on a whole new meaning during these Covid Times, I was reminded of one prank in particular. My Mom was never known as a practical joker, but now and then, she’d get you. Mostly because you never saw it coming. One year, she got us all good.
While opening my brown bag lunch at school, I noticed a small item wrapped in tin foil. Since it was out of character for my Mom to deviate from our normal lunch routine, this should have set my spider-senses tingling. The other kids at the lunch table noticed I had a special treat and they prompted me to open it up to see what it was. It was a Milk-Bone dog biscuit, stolen from our dog Mindy, and wrapped up as an April Fools gift. The whole table burst out laughing. I immediately swore revenge on my mother, nicely, of course.
That same day, my youngest brother and I cooked up our payback, since he had received a dog treat as well. He said I should go into the garage and he would lay on the couch in the family room. When my Mom came in he would stand up and say, “I don’t feel so good.” Then collapse to the floor. I know it sounds cruel, but I could still hear those kids howling over the Milk-Bone, so this was war!
At the prescribed time, I went into the garage. Then I heard him deliver his line and drop to the floor. Mom screamed for me to come and help. I came in from the garage and saw my brother splayed out on the floor like a ragdoll. Nice touch. She shouted at me to help him I replied, “He’ll be fine”. As Mom bent over my brother, who appeared to be out cold, a huge grin came over his face, as he exclaimed, “April Fool!” She was livid! We both got out of there while the getting was good.
Once Mom cooled down, she agreed that we had indeed, got her back. A truce was declared, but we never forgot that day. We were always very suspicious of any treats that were packed in our lunches on April 1st. Fool me once, Mom . . .
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