Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Five Rules For Pranking

To my son Tommy,

Today is April 1st, also known as April Fool's day. Jokes and pranks and all out falsehoods abound. Be aware and be careful. Assume everything to be a prank and approach each situation suspiciously. Don't bother reading the news today, especially the internet. Even the last vestiges of reputable news outlets cannot be trusted on this day. Of course with the internet, many have taken this approach year round. What was once a day long gullibility test, for them has extend to a 24/7 way of living. Sadly, I have for the most part given up the battle of trying to inform the masses when they are fooled. If they want to believe that if you share that picture that someone is going to send you a portion of their lotto winnings, or believe that a Nigerian prince will pay them a portion of their fortune after you send them five hundred bucks, or believe that taurine actually means bull piss, or any of the host of internet lies that abound, they are on their own. In fact I have resorted to mockingly agreeing with them and fostering their belief that it is true. I believe that comes from our Irish heritage, which gives us the ability to make even the most utterly nonsensical sound credible.

If you decide to partake in the antics of April Fool's day, follow these rules.

  • Do not be cruel. Keep it harmless on both a physical and an emotional level. A whip cream pie in the face...April Fool's. A Louisville slugger to the face...assault. Telling someone that sugar water makes a good insect repellent...April Fool's. Telling someone that their dad is dead...well now you just look like a jerk. There is only a certain amount that "just kidding, April Fool's" can get you out of.
  • Make sure everyone can laugh at the end. The objective is fun not to victimize or bully. If someone is really hurt or offended or upset, don't just blow it off and say they don't have a sense of humor. Remember saying sorry sincerely is the first step in rectifying any joke gone awry.
  • Be original. Sure some of the classics are always fun, but if you are going to put the effort into it, might as well be a trailblazer. At least put a spin on the classic.
  • Fess up. I once convinced a friend that some Spanish curse words were actually words of endearment. He said the words around some Spanish speaking guys and they laughed and I laughed but we all forgot to correct him. Three months later, after actually finding a nice Spanish speaking girl that he could try his newly learned phrases with...well lets just say he wasn't happy with me when he found out what the words really meant.
  • Expect retribution. You have to take it as good as you give it. And be careful because some do not follow these rules.
Sincerely with love from your dad,

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