Department Of Fun With Student Drivers
Dateline: Tuesday, early a.m., out for my morning walk, waiting to cross a street. As I watched the cross traffic’s stoplight and saw the green-changing-to-yellow light – the pedestrian’s rewarding indicator that it will soon be your turn to cross the street – I noticed a white sedan slowing down much more deliberately than is usual yet still not managing to come to a complete stop until the car’s front bumper was just a tad into the crosswalk.
My light changed to green, I began to cross the street, and saw the telltale red and yellow logo for a local driving academy on the car’s driver’s door. A student driver?
I looked inside the car: the student in the driver’s seat sat ramrod straight, an expression of nervous anticipation drenching her face. Her white-knuckled hands gripped the steering wheel and her gaze was fixed ahead. Her instructor was looking down at a clipboard he held; neither of them seemed aware of my approaching presence.
My instinctive reaction was to throw myself onto the hood of the car and scare the living pee-pee out of both of them.
How I managed to restrain myself, I’ll never know.
But, I did. Okay?
* * *
Pity the afore-mentioned scenario happened Tuesday, and not today. Had I gone through with my whimsical notion, ‘twould have made a good – dare I say, even legendary? – April Fool’s Day prank.
You gotta love a day that is devoted to honoring and encouraging practical jokes, hoaxes, and pranks both well- and feebly-played.
The origins of April Fools Day’s are not completely agreed upon by historians, and have been variously attributed. What is agreed upon is that many cultures, going back to the ancient Romans and Egyptians, have set aside days for celebrating jokes and pranksters. Perhaps, as some people have speculated, there’s just something about the day’s timing – the fading of winter and the blooming of spring, which lends itself to the observance of light-hearted frivolity.
I can recall only a few of the pranks I’ve played on friends, family and co-workers over the years. The memories are silly but fond, and include:
* Showing two positive pregnancy test dipsticks to a newbie Planned Parenthood co-worker and telling her I was pregnant with twins.
* Adding just a couple of drops of blue food coloring to the carton of nonfat milk in my parent’s refrigerator.
* Calling my father at his office and convincing him (if only temporarily) that someone had bought a raffle ticket in his name for the local animal shelter’s fundraising event, he’d won the raffle, and could he please let the shelter know when he was coming to claim his prize: an English Mastiff and a week’s supply – a 100 lb. bag of kibble – of the dog’s food. 
* Swapping my and my siblings’ framed high school graduation pictures, which hung in my parent’s hallway, with pictures of the members of Led Zeppelin.
* Replacing the hard-boiled egg in my sister’s school lunch bag with a raw egg.
* Cutting my finger, smearing my blood on the scissors in co-worker Roger’s cubicle, leaving a note on my computer saying I had been threatened by Roger and feared for my life, then faking my own death and leaving town.
Oops, that’s right – I never got around to implementing the last one.
As pleasurable as it is to pull off an epic prank, it can be equally fun, IMHO, to have a great prank played on your own self. I hope y’all have a Happy April Fools’ Day…and I hope that I do not regret having made that previous declaration.
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Speaking of foolery…
Department Of Uh, Since You’ve Asked, That Would Be, “No”
Last Sunday a FB friend began her post thusly:
Happy Easter, everyone! Can I share what it means to me?
FBF went on to – surprise! – offer her testimony for Jesus, without waiting for an answer to her question.
* * *
Department Of So What Am I Supposed To Use, A Q-Tip?
The following non-instruction was printed on the top of a large, thick, sturdy cardboard shipping container, which was filled with non-delicate items (cans of cat food).
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* * *
“My hunter buddy tells me, ‘Don’t worry, when I hunt I use every part of the animal.’
You know who also uses every part of the animal? THE ANIMAL.”
–Deepak Sethi, writer/comedian
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Department Of Asking The Same Question, But For Different Reasons
“What is wrong with people?”
That question was posed on the FB page of an outdoor archery range which is located ~ 15 miles from my little house on the prairie home in Hillsboro. I was researching archery practice ranges, and remembered there is one up in the hills that is open to the public, as per a man I’d met at the Washington Park range. The range he recommended caters primarily to bow hunters, or so I guessed after finding its website.
There wasn’t much current info on the website. I followed a link to the range’s Facebook page, where I encountered a post with the above question accompanied by a photo – a photo that caused me to ask the same question, but for very different reasons.
The photo, which you can see here (9-15-15 post) if you are so perverse inclined, was of the decapitated head of an enormous bull elk. The head rested atop a bloodied blanket in the bed of a pickup truck. The post asked for help in returning this pathetic souvenir of macho death lust trophy to the hunter who’d killed the elk:
“These antlers were stolen from a man in his 70’s who has never killed a bull this big with a bow. It was taken from his property….”
No mention of the rest of the animal; no mention of the head to which those antlers were attached – the head which showed the elk’s tongue protruding from its mouth, a mute testimony to the elk’s agonizing death throes;  no mention of concern for the remaining 600 lbs of the animal. A magnificent creature was slaughtered, not for sustenance or in self-defense, but so that some old dude could hang a part of that creature’s body on his wall as a testimony to the fact that he’d previously “never killed a bull this big.”
What is wrong with people?
As posed by the FB poster(s), the question speculates as to what kind of person would steal an elderly hunter’s booty. As posed by moiself, the question wonders what kind of person of any age enjoys killing any creature for “sport.”
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And One More Thing
If you consider trophy hunting to be a legitimate sport, I obviously disagree with your assessment, although I respect our difference of opinion on this matter.
And by I respect our difference of opinion on this matter I sincerely mean,
Go fuck yourself.
* * *
May you always respect my difference of opinion, on any matter;
May you have unending patience with apprentice drivers;
May your day be filled with April foolery…
and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Anyone else remember the precursor (and competitor) to Oreos?
 My sisters making muffled barking sounds to approximate background animal shelter noise was a great help in pulling off this prank.
 Rather than wimpy anti-hunting target shooters like moiself.
 Death by arrow is not instantaneous, not matter how expert the marksman.