Print Story I've hated April Fool's Day since I was six
By toxicfur (Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 08:39:10 AM EST) (all tags)
That is, more or less, what I told ana this morning. My throat closed up when I tried to explain why. All memories are painful. Even the ones that shouldn't be.

I was six and I was missing my two front teeth, and my Granddaddy G--, my dad's father, teased me about not being able to whistle. He and my Grandmama G-- were visiting, and they struck me as highly exotic and a little scary. Grandmama G-- carried around a Cheerwine bottle that she spit a vile liquid into. Granddaddy G-- smoked a pipe that smelled warm and comfortable, and hand-rolled cigarettes that made me choke. His clothes were spotted with tiny burn-holes.

It was supposed to be a long weekend for me because of a teacher workday at school. Mama explained, though, that because of the snow days we'd had, we needed to make up some days. That way, we wouldn't have to go to school so long into the summer.

That made sense to me. A couple of weeks prior, we'd had an astounding 18" of snow. In Eastern North Carolina. In March. Mama, her belly swollen with her third child, had accidentally slipped into a drainage ditch hidden by snow drifts and had sunk to her waist. She struggled to get out, and Daddy had to come back and pull on her arms and try not to fall in, too. We giggled later, once Mama was out of the ditch and we were back home. We ate snow cream and built a snowman (that, sadly, did not come to life) and had snowball fights. Daddy taught my little brother who was 2 to put snow down my shirt. The snow disappeared as quickly as it came -- it was, after all, North Carolina and March.

I groaned when Mama woke me up that April first. "It's a teacher workday!" She reminded me of the snow days, and I got up, got dressed into my school clothes, and put on my jacket. It was still cool in the mornings, but the flowers were starting to bloom and there was the beginning of the yellow tinge of pine pollen dusting the old white Ford in our driveway.

Granddaddy G-- and his pipe kept me company on the front porch while I waited for the school bus. And I waited. And waited. I told Mama that I didn't think the bus was going to come. Did I miss it maybe? Was there a delay?

"April Fool's!" Mama sang.

What?! I was furious. I was embarrassed that I'd fallen for her trick, and I told her I'd never believe her again. I'd gotten out of bed. I'd gotten dressed in school clothes. My grandparents laughed at my rage.

"Not fair!"

"But now you're up and ready for your day," Mama said reasonably.

I don't remember anything else of that day. I don't know what, if anything, my grandparents had planned, or even why they were visiting. But I can see every detail of my mother's face, unlined, 26 years old, plump from pregnancy, and entirely pleased. I remember my temper. Later, I could laugh and every year, I ruefully explained to people why I hate April Fool's Day, and why no one should think that pranks on me were acceptable.

This morning, I couldn't tell the story, though. I relived it, but I couldn't tell it. Today is warm, though, around 60F, windy and threatening rain. I drove in to work, my window rolled down, Pearl Jam and Nirvana cranked up until I felt the bass. I marveled at how young I was when those songs were the soundtrack of my dorm life. How naive I was. How arrogant. How innocent.

< April Fools Roundup | Too true, fruit-face >
I've hated April Fool's Day since I was six | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
The is a cruel prank by codemonkey uk (4.00 / 2) #1 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 08:44:04 AM EST
Especially cruel for a mother to play on her 6 year old child.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
I don't really think it was cruel... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:13:04 AM EST
at least not in the context of my family. It didn't mean I wasn't angry about it then, but it was a mostly funny story when I told it later. I still hate April Fool's pranks, though.
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
[ Parent ]
me, too by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 05:09:24 PM EST
I hate pranks in general, though ones that just make people go WTF aren't so bad, I guess. I mean, the whole world makes me go WTF sometimes just in the way that it exists. It's the whole spirit of making a fool out of someone else that bugs me. I guess I have no sense of humor.

"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
I hate pranks like that by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #2 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:39:47 AM EST
They are unfair.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

In the context of my family... by toxicfur (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:16:33 AM EST
it wasn't all that surprising, I suppose. I was quite angry, though. My mom wasn't at all sympathetic to the cry that it was unfair, though -- life isn't fair, she reminded us again and again. What she didn't tell me is that sometimes life isn't fair in my favor. That one was a surprise.
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
[ Parent ]
April fish! by Merekat (4.00 / 3) #3 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:51:49 AM EST
The french version is for children to try to stick paper cutouts of fish onto people. Much more fun for under 10s imo.

I love this idea! by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:13:44 AM EST
Much more fun, and much less annoying. :)
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
[ Parent ]
Sound like the running joke in the Gremlins movies by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #4 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 09:57:24 AM EST
"I hate $Holiday because"...

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Not quite as gruesome... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:14:53 AM EST
as the one in the first Gremlins, at least. But perhaps there are some parallels.
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
[ Parent ]
My by Sapphire (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:32:13 AM EST
parents did something like this to me.  I was one of those children who woke in a daze and didn't fully wake up until after I was ready for school.  I don't know if it was April Fool's Day or not.  Anyway, my alarm was set twelve hours earlier and I got up, brushed my teeth, got dressed and poured my cereal before I realized that it was dark outside and my older sister and parents were laughing at me.  I remember fuming.

Jeez, no wonder I have a complex about people laughing at me.  Not only do I hate AFD, I hate being the victim of practical jokes.

I've hated April Fool's Day since I was six | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback