Okay, so a tidbit about me since we are just getting to know each other and all. I’m a huge fan of practical jokes. Huge. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas as much as the next gal, but when April Fools Day rolls around each year I find myself absolutely giddy with the prospect of having a perfectly good excuse to torture my loved ones with antics normally reserved for candid camera shows. And, since we’re on the subject, I love me a good hidden camera show. I used to watch this one, I think it was called Trigger Happy TV, and I was in tears and near incontinence by the time the credits rolled. One of my favorite stunts they did was when someone dressed up in a random animal costume (typically a rabbit or beaver or similar unassuming creature) and then ran around wreaking havoc on the townspeople as they went about their business. It honestly makes me chuckle just writing about it. Is there something wrong with me?
So, back to my April Fools Day. I have to admit that my jokes were on the weak side this year, the result of trying to get my blog up and running in the midst of a zillion and one other to-dos. This is one thing that my family expects of me every year though, and who am I to let them down? I made an extra effort to stop at Target yesterday (chore of chores I know) in search of the perfect rubber garden snake. I meant to grab a roll of bubble wrap also to place at the foot of the bed so that when the kids woke up they immediately heard the pop pop popping of tiny bubbles. I ran out of time at Target though (too much time spent gazing at the new Isaac Mizrahi purses) and had to forego the bubble wrap.
Precursor to the story: remember that we live in Arizona where snakes aren’t all that uncommon, especially this time of year when they are coming out of hibernation and trying to find a toasty piece of ground to warm their bellies. Ew. That almost makes it sound like I actually like snakes. To be clear, I certainly do not. Given my location, though, I have to accept them. Okay moving right along now.
I cut the telltale price tag off my little partner in crime and coiled him up before placing him in a somewhat conspicuous but not too much so spot in our master bedroom closet right next to where my husband lays out his clothes for the next morning (just like a grade-schooler, huh? How cute is that). Then all that was left to do was sleep off the anticipation.
As he always does he rolled out of bed and snuck quietly into the closet so as not to wake me. I waited patiently to hear a high-pitched girly shriek echo out from the closet. Nothing. He’s tired. Give him a second to let his eyes adjust to the light. Nothing. It took everything I had to contain that anticipatory laughter that threatened to give me away. In the end, it was all for naught. He didn’t even see the dumb snake, and like I said, it was somewhat conspicuous. I guess that is a good lesson for me to have learned.
Take 2: Using the same snake I tried to pull one over on Kennedy. Again, I coiled him up nice and neat before placing him on the stack of clean towels under her bathroom sink. I was in the bathroom doing Cassidy’s hair when Kennedy happened upon the snake. Her response floored me.
“Why’d you put a snake under the sink?”
Can you believe the nerve on that child?! Grrr. My venture was not off to a good start.
Take 3: I decided against coiling the snake seeing as how that method had been unsuccessful thus far. I stretched him out as though he was mid-slither underneath the passenger side of the minivan, precisely where Torri had to get in the car. The third time was a charm.
Torri followed Cassidy to the car. Cassidy screamed when she saw the snake (though she knew full well it wasn’t real because she had been privy to Take 2 earlier in the morning). Torri gasped and screamed and threw her hands up to her heart (precisely the reaction a good practical jokester evokes) and turned to me in despair.
“Oh my gosh that scared me so bad,” she said.
At that point I thought the jig was up because she used the past tense. But, Cassidy, bless her little heart, took the joke to a whole new level: one that I never saw coming. She bent down and picked the snake up and began twirling it around and simultaneously shrieking. I do need to have a chat with her about that because I’m not totally sure she can tell the difference between a rubber and a real snake and since we live in the desert, well you get the picture. Anyway, Torri about blows a gasket and I wonder momentarily if she is going to faint. She’s yelling at her sister to put it down and wondering why my reaction is one of bent at the waist hysteria instead of absolute fear for my child’s life. Then and only then does a slight hint of recognition creep into her eyes.
“Is it fake?” And, without giving me time to recover from my laughter, “IS IT FAKE?”
“You are so mean.”
It turns out she thought it was a real snake. Only she thought it was a dead real snake and she learned in school that real snakes most certainly can bite. Even if they are dead.
Given a bit of time to recover from her brush with death, she wasn’t too mad at me. In fact, she is a girl after my own heart. We spent the whole ride to school cooking up the perfect gags to pull on her friends.
How proud am I? A chip off the old block.