I could have been born on April Fool’s Day.
However, it wouldn’t have been much fun for my mom — making me nearly eight weeks overdue. Although, given my personality, it would have been fitting for me to be born on the day that celebrates practical jokes and hoaxes.
Known for my affinity for tomfoolery, I’ve also been on the receiving end of some pretty good pranks. One of the most memorable is when a number of my co-workers persuaded my husband to be involved. Honestly, I don’t think it took much convincing for John to get on board with pulling one over on me. He has been on the receiving end of a number of my gags over the years.
At the time, I was the residential manager at a facility for adults with developmental disabilities. When there were emergencies, I was to be called — regardless of the time of day or night. Given that I have unusual sleeping patterns, my co-workers wanted to make sure that they woke me from a sound slumber. John was in contact with Suzanne Tosten, my “friend” and a group home manager.
When my phone rang in the wee hours of the morning of April 1, my head didn’t have the ability to process what the date was. I don’t recall what Suzanne said, other than, “I’ll pick you up.” That didn’t send up any red flags, as we often responded to late night calls in tandem.
What I do remember is fretting over what to wear — not that I needed to be dapperly dressed. However, wherever I ended up going, I knew I would be representing the company I worked for. So, the AC-DC “Highway to Hell” T-shirt I fell asleep in probably wasn’t the best choice. And, I reminded myself to grab a hat — the last time I ended up in the ER at Good Shepherd Medical Center was like a bad hair day on steroids.
I still had a dazed look in my eyes as I finally made my way down the stairs and out the door. Suddenly, people were all around — half a dozen co-workers were shooting water pistols at me. I got soaked. They got me good — there was no emergency, it was merely the first few hours of April Fool’s Day.
In a follow-up column, I will share some of my favorite pranks — including an elaborate scheme where I portrayed the Publishers Clearing House. After weeks of set-up and planning, it culminated in “delivering” a Lincoln Continental to an unsuspecting friend.