My dad is a master jokester. Seriously, I could go on for pages about the various jokes and pranks he pulled. One that comes to mind every April 1st, however, is the one I'm going to relate now. It was the best April Fools' joke I've ever had pulled on me personally, and one of the best I've ever heard of anywhere else.
It was the year that I was 13 years old. Dad hadn't tried anything yet all day, which was unusual because he was typically good for at least a mini-prank before we left for school. By evening, we'd mostly forgotten about April Fools' and were going through the motions of a quite mundane day. Mom and Dad decided that we'd get pizza for dinner, which was a huge treat back then. Any take-out food was rare in our house, and certainly something to be celebrated. Mom called in the order to our local pizzeria (which we supplied with tomatoes for a few summers when Mom and Dad's gardening got way out of hand and we had an entire, large plot dedicated to tomatoes and cucumbers) and after the 20 minutes were up, Dad headed out to get the 'za. As he pulled back up our very long driveway, he was honking the horn of the truck. This wasn't an entirely unusual occurrence, as we had all manner of cats and dogs as well as a goat that used to let herself out of the barn whenever she darn well pleased, and various combinations of these critters would often hang out in the middle of the driveway, blocking traffic from going any further. (I once, in later years, came with an inch of pancaking that dang goat as we played Chicken with her goaty, swaybacked, saggy body and my beloved Oldsmobile Delta 88. I kept creeping forward, inch by inch, as she stood firm, bleating and spitting at my car. Oh, Skeeter...) The honking did serve to draw our attention to the kitchen door, though, so my sisters, mother and I were all gathered in the kitchen as Dad came in bearing three pizza boxes aloft.
Now, the fact that he had THREE pizza boxes should've tipped us off, as we normally only ever ordered one or at the most two pies. Maybe my mom realized something was up, but before any of us had time to process anything, BAMMO! Dad tripped on the doorstep and landed smack dab on his face and on the pizza boxes, now instantly crushed beneath his chest. There was one eternal second of horrified silence, then the wail went up: "OUR PIZZAAAAAAAAA!" Our faces fell as low as Dad, prone on the floor, pizza boxes squished flat as could be. I think my mom may've asked whether he was okay, but for us girls, it was all about the food. That made the moment even sweeter for Dad, as he groaned and slooooowly got up, shaking his head and saying "well, I guess there won't be any pizza for dinner tonight after all." I believe at least one of us kids was in tears at this point, and we were all equally devastated at the thought of no delicious, cheesy pizza - any alternative menu just couldn't be as tasty and might well include *shudder* lamb, as we had a freezer full of previous barn occupants ever at the ready. We begged him to check and see if there was any slice left that could be salvaged, when he sprang it on us - "APRIL FOOLS'!!!!!!" He opened the boxes to show us that they were empty, while the real pizza was waiting out in the truck. He'd convinced Phil, the pizzeria owner, to give him a few empty boxes so he could prank us, and oh yeah, he got us good that year.
The kiddo is a little on the young side for April Fooling, but that isn't going to stop me from trying to come up with something we can do to Daddy when he gets home from work tonight. I have a few ideas, all of which I think would make Grandpa proud. Shhhh, don't tell him we're plotting, and happy April Fools' Day!