The Saratoga Sun -

Ghosts of April Fool's Day past


I hope that all of you survived April Fool’s Day. For those of you still cleaning shaving cream and the like out of various places … you might need a chance to read about some other’s misfortune.

Since I have already done a column about the origins of April Fool’s Day I decided to share some other practical joke vignettes with you. While none of these were actually pulled on April Fool’s Day I still couldn’t think of a more fitting time to present these stories.


A new guy around town named Nick was being introduced around. Eventually someone commented that he appeared to be “kind of a hipster”. He denied the allegation, but the conversation continued about how his clothes and attitude fit the profile and so on. I was not an immediate part of the conversation but I caught the periphery. Even though I still have no clue what a “hipster” might be (yes, I am, tragically, uncool), I noted the label for future use.

Later that evening, I grabbed a friend of mine named Lloyd, who had had no part in the earlier hipster conversation, and told him that I was going to introduce him to Nick and “here’s what I want you to say …”. Being my friend means always being up for a joke—so he immediately and heartily agreed. The introduction went something like this:

Me: “Nick, I’d like you to meet a friend of mine. His name is Lloyd.”

Nick: “Nice to meet you.”

Lloyd: “Nice to meet you too, Nick. You know ... you look kind of like a hipster.”

It was at this point that Nick “unshook” Lloyd’s hand and used his hand to express his feeling about the label along with other fitting verbal commentaries concerning Lloyd’s lineage and possible sexual history and/or future.

Some jokes just require a good ear and a little planning.

… and some rotten friends.


Brittani (an intern at the Sun a few years ago), had put on her Facebook that she missed everyone in Saratoga with the possible exception of me.

I decided to write her back “So much for YOUR next float trip, Brittani!” and told my co-worker, Ted, about it.

I got on Facebook and replied with the message above. Then I noticed I had misspelled “next”. While I deleted and fixed my entry, Ted got onto the reply page and put in the following: “Let me guess ... Keith is going to say something lame and predictable like, well, so much for YOUR next float trip, Brittani!”

The upshot is that his comment appeared before mine on the reply page.

Ted was difficult to put up with for an interminable length of time.

I did get Ted back though.


While our sports reporter was in the bathroom one day I tied his phone cord together and waited.

Sure enough, a coach that he needed to interview called and he answered (picking up the whole phone in the process). I giggled like a little girl while he completed his interview by typing bent over with his head just inches above the phone on the desk.

I have to give him credit for keeping his composure though.


One day Ted and I were alone in the office. We had been trading stories when he decided to pick up our mail. While he was gone, I loaded the earpiece of his phone with Carmex.

When he returned, I walked into the back room, pulled my cell phone from my pocket and called the office.

When he inevitably answered the phone I said, “Is your ear sticky?”

The following “OH, MAN!” was reply enough.

Ted was one of my favorite targets through the years for two reasons: 1. He took jokes well, and B. He was wet enough behind the ears to be really gullible.


One night I got to looking at the drop ceiling in our office and figured that if I ran a piece of cord over the acoustic tiles I could suspend stuff over Ted’s desk and release said bombs with a tug of the cord.

That night I ran some orange twine through a small hole I made in a ceiling tile above my desk, over several tiles to Ted’s desk where I suspended several pens. I then taped the pull cord on my end to a wall so it wouldn’t be obvious.

When I got to work the next day the pull cord had un-taped itself from the wall and was hanging straight down from the ceiling to my desk.

I was trying to figure out a way to hide the twine when Ted walked in and asked .”What’s the cord for?”.

My hopes sank as I told him, “None of your business”. I was sure he would follow the cord to the ceiling and bother to look above his desk.

Of course, the question only made it that much sweeter as he sat down at his desk and watched as I pulled on the cord.

These were all fine and good pranks, and there have been many others, but the best one I saved for last ...


I was walking home for lunch one day when I noticed a distinctive yellow-and-white Chevy van parked at the post office.

I immediately knew the van belonged to a friend of mine by the name of Carrie Craig. I assumed (correctly) that Carrie was inside getting her mail and took the opportunity to crawl into her van and lay down on the floor in the back.

Carrie eventually came back out and got into the vehicle.

At this point our stories differ.

She says she was looking at her bills and complaining about them before starting up the van.

I say she kind of sorted through her mail, put it aside then started the van.

In either case, we agree that she did not see me laying in plain sight in the back of the van.

As she started the van and before she put it into gear, I asked, in a conversational tone, “So, where are we going?”

Have you ever seen someone jump out of their seat and nearly through the roof of a van?

I have.

Carrie swore she was going to get me back for that one and even went as far as trying to get that television show “Scare Tactics” to come here for just that purpose.

I hope you had a happy April Fool’s Day and would like to think I have given you something to plot on for next year’s.


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