A Guide to Surviving the Worst of April Fools’



You’re not entirely sure what wakes you up first: the sunlight hitting your eyes or the strange tension your body involuntarily gets moments before your alarm clock goes off. It’s odd; you don’t know, and have resigned yourself to never knowing, how your brain can sense it, but nevertheless it manages to get you just seconds before you’re assaulted with that hideous sound you’ve set that was designed for the sole purpose of shocking you out of sleep. 

The day seems normal enough, but something gnashing and gnawing away at your skull tells you it’s about to get super annoying super quickly. And it’s not wrong.

The first sign that something is amiss is the news. You click on an article that seems interesting enough: “Cats Arrested as Co-Conspirators in Kew Gardens Heist”. That whacky legal system! You click on the link, in a half-sleepy haze, unaware that you’ve just been redirected. It’s a splash screen, and on it written in massive, three dimensional letters so bold it’s as if the entire internet is screaming at you: April Fools! Way to get invested in current affairs, asshole!

Oh, right. It’s the calendrical equivalent of a douchebro with too much time on his hands. You close your computer. It’s too early for this shit. You make yourself a coffee, but stop before you pour the sugar in. Usually your roommates don’t play along with this sort of nonsense – they hardly put the effort into making any pancakes on Shrove Tuesday – but this could be the one time when they do. You wouldn’t put it past them. You gingerly dip your finger in and assert that, actually, yeah, it was just sugar.

But what about the milk? And the coffee? Something in this house has to be poisoned. You know it. Somebody has, for the sake of a prank, poisoned something you’re about to eat. Maybe even everything. You freeze, mug at the tip of your lips, tantalisingly close to your mouth. Eyes scan the room, looking for potential hidden cameras. This is the sort of shit that would make millions on YouTube. But you stop yourself. You’re getting paranoid at nothing. A completely arbitrary date in the calendar has turned you into a soviet spy after realising he’s given away the coin with all the codes hidden inside as a tip.

There’s no time for this. You’re going to be late for work. You dash out of the house, leaving the poisoned apple that is coffee on the side to congeal. Take that, you think smugly to yourself. Worst YouTube video ever. It’s colder outside than you had hoped. You cross your arms in an attempt to stay warm, and wish you had a cup of coffee right about now. Where the hell is the bus? It’s been forever. Maybe they’ve removed all buses as part of an April Fools’ Day thing. No one gets to work today!

No. Stop it. Nobody cares about this holiday as much as you right now. See? Here comes the bus now. Idiot.

As you travel, staring blankly at the weird, greasy back-of-head in front of you, you try to remember if April Fools’ was ever a good day. You like to think so. Maybe there was a time before every website with a bored intern had a crack at fooling us with subtle and totally real headlines such as Google Introduces New Patch to Wane Users Off, and Zach Braff is dead. No, honestly, this time it’s for real! But there probably wasn’t.

The rest of the news sites are info pieces on the history of the holiday. Like they do every year, and every time anything happens in the world. The Clocks Go Back This Weekend, Here’s the Entire History of Why We Do This. If no one could remember your article from last year, chances are nobody actually cares.

Either way, you’re not checking out any more articles until tomorrow. There’s tonnes of work to do and you’ve been putting it off for long enough. You sit at your desk … and stop. You feel something beneath you, on the chair. It’s cold, and possibly sticky. Dammit! Someone’s stuck glue to the seat and you’ve fallen for it. Way to go, numbnuts. You wriggle around in your chair, trying to free yourself, wheeling around the carpeted area like Stephen Hawking on the fritz … only to find there was nothing there at all. You’re losing it. Easy, fella.

You take your mind off the hundred potential pranksters in the room and grab the phone. You have to make a tonne of calls and … hang on. Is that black paint on the receiver? A-ha! You knew it! Take a tissue and wipe it clean. Or try to. Nothing’s coming off. Why is the paint not coming off it? Oh, right. That’s ink from when your pen leaked the other week. You mentally slap yourself alert. Stop this.

You need to get some files from your locker, but those can wait until tomorrow. You don’t want to risk opening it and looking like the biggest of all the April Fools. Who knows, maybe someone’s put a custard pie on a spring inside, and you need to be at a Skype conference in an hour.  Ain’t gonna happen. You eye up your co-workers, knowing that one of them has been sharing fake articles on Facebook all day and is giggling every time someone takes it seriously. That’s the one you have to watch out for.

Somehow, the day winds to a close. No one’s even mentioned it’s April Fools’ Day. You haven’t been pranked. But who knows, it could all come crashing down in these last ten minutes. Isn’t this where all the top pranking happens? You’re sure you read that somewhere before. OK, all you have to do is pack quickly and get out before everyone. You see the person … what’s his name again? The guy who sits opposite … whatever his name, you see him begin to pack his stuff. Probably leaving early to plant some big, end-of-day prank that’ll get everyone. But not you. You race him, and beat him to the finish. Bag’s on, jacket’s slung haphazardly over one shoulder you barge past him, knocking him sideways. You’re out the door. He sounds annoyed, and tells you you’ve been acting weird and jerky all day. You give him a look that says, “Yeah, I know what you’re thinking buddy”, and you leave. See ya Monday, suckers!

Everyone else begins to leave. You’re already on your way home, and you’ve nailed it. No one caught you out this year. Joke’s on them.