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Cornelius News

No joke, April Fools is a sacred holiday

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

March 31. April Fool’s Day is my third-favorite holiday of the year, which is meaningful because it’s the only one of my top three that doesn’t include fireworks.

I find April Fool’s Day to be more of a yearlong lifestyle as opposed to just a date on the calendar. Kind of like the Disney people, except I don’t express my passion with sweatshirts and bumper stickers. I put people’s houses up for sale.

True story.

When my neighbors, the CrossFit Couple, went on summer vacation a couple of years ago, I put a For Sale By Owner sign in their front yard and instructed potential buyers to text offers to their phone number. It didn’t work, and they still reside there.

When they went out of town last Christmas, I put my dead Christmas tree on their roof, and it took them three days to notice once they got back.

When the CrossFit Couple spent the first year of their baby’s life posting pictures on Facebook, I photoshopped Mr. CrossFit’s head and a bottle of Coors Light onto the baby and reposted them in the comments. I did this every month for a year.

Mailing it In

Federal laws, like mail tampering, mean little to me.

My neighbors, the Pill Lady and the Banker, live across the street. The Banker is afraid someone is going to steal packages off his front porch, so he takes turns calling his neighbors to grab his cardboard boxes when he’s out of town.

A couple of years ago, he called from somewhere and asked me to fetch a package that contained his repaired iPhone.

So, I brought it home, used a heat gun to open the protective seal, took out his phone, put in my very old and very cracked iPhone, and sealed it back up with a letter informing the Banker that his phone was unrepairable and was being replaced with the phone in the box

He was obviously upset with the recompense and called the number I put in the letter to voice his displeasure, which connected him to an adult entertainment line.


I do occasionally like to focus my efforts on the actual day of April Fool’s. If I was forced to pick my favorite April Fool’s Day prank, well, that’s easy. It was 1992 when I was a junior in high school.

The Preacher’s Son had an old, beat-up Toyota, the model of which is immaterial to this story. The Ginger and I stole his keys from his kitchen, made copies at the hardware store, and returned the originals to his countertop.

We went back to his house around 10 p.m., shimmied across a beam 15 feet in the air, and hung a poster board outside his kitchen window that had a drawing of a car and a play on words from the Toyota advertising slogan, “Oh now it’s missing … Toyota!”

When he arrived at school the next morning, his car was parked on the front lawn, filled to the brim with balloons, which he had to individually pop in order to drive the car.

Rule of Thumb

My mother was, and often still is, the brunt of our jokes.

When we were kids she was at the store one night and my brother and I took a rubber thumb and put it on a cutting board with a large knife, sprayed ketchup all over the place and began screaming as soon as she opened the basement door from the garage.

She sprinted upstairs into the kitchen, surveyed the scene and screamed in bloody terror.

We, of course, laughed and held up the fake thumb. She peed her pants, went to the bathroom and didn’t come out for the rest of the night because she was so mad at us.

Just last month my mom called a kitchen designer friend, who happened to be in my kitchen at the time. I answered the designer’s phone and acted like my mom dialed my number, and then told her to hang up and call my number to see what the problem was.

She called my number and I handed my phone to the designer to answer her call. We eventually fessed up but I’m still not sure my mom understands what happened.

Bringing it Home

And that brings us to The Mother of Dragons. I pulled some big April Fool’s Day pranks on her when we first started dating, and the only one I can describe in detail ended up with her calling the police because she thought someone had stolen her car.

As the years have gone by, my gestures have become less grandiose, but no less ambitious. Lately, I’ve taken a smaller, more death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts approach.

For example, I recently framed a picture of my lifetime NC fishing license and hung it up in the house. She found it and put it in my closet, and then I found another place to display it in the house. This has been going on for weeks. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sometimes, I wait until she makes the bed, and then I turn the pillows upside down because she likes the pattern to go a certain direction.

Every year at Christmas, she puts out individual letters that spell BELIEVE, and I treat them like my own personal anagram puzzle. EVIL BEE. EEL VIBE. BEE VEIL. It fills me with HOLY AID spirit.

Is she amused by any of it? Absolutely not, but it’s okay. I just tell her to simmer down. We’ve been married for a long time, so she appreciates it when I tell her she’s overreacting and being emotional.

Besides, it’s not like I put our house up for sale or tossed our Christmas tree on our roof. I didn’t open her packages and put my broken things in the box. I wouldn’t do that to her.

Know what else I wouldn’t do? I wouldn’t photoshop her face onto a baby’s body and take out a fake advertisement for a fake business in this newspaper.

But I would do it to Mr. CrossFit!


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Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 13-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 10-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.