Yesterday was April Fool’s Day and I was subjected to nary a foolish prank. I think that might be a first.
When I worked in an office environment — the kind with other people around — someone would always try to prank me, providing a momentary pause, before reality and common sense resumed control.
When I retreated to the confines of a solo office, the pranks would arrive via email in the form of a clever, too-good-to-be-true press release. They would often have a humorous aspect to them as well, giving me reason to chuckle or smile — or sometimes groan.
I was not so fortunate this year. What press releases I did receive on day one of April were of the serious and on-the-level variety.
One year, someone kept sending me emails, building up the anticipation for a big announcement on April first. I assumed it was merely a well-planned joke that would be sprung on April Fool’s Day. Alas, it was not. It was a real announcement.
Hence the first rule of press releases — never time one to occur on April Fool’s Day. You don’t want your carefully edited news item to be summarily discarded into the recycle bin of Tom Foolery.
The meanest April Fool’s joke I ever witnessed was a co-worker calling his mother, informing her that he and his wife were expecting; it would be the first grandchild. Her initial excitement was dashed however, when her son exclaimed, “April Fool’s.”
I’m sure he won’t try that one again — or will he?
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.