Anecdotes of April Fools Day pranks

How I used an ingenious and natural-sounding trick on April Fools Day

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12th November 2010

Four days before my birthday which falls on the 4th of April I sent out an email inviting all my friends over to my home for chocolates and snacks. Normally the invitation would have been looked upon with suspicion, but the fact that my actual birthday was in the first week of April made most (but not all) of my friends believe that the 1st of April was my birthday, as they vaguely remembered that my birthday did occur somewhere around that time.

To make the email sound more convincing, I sent it across just after midnight on the 31st of March, so it was on top of the list of emails in the mailboxes the first thing in the morning, before any other April Fool’s pranks would alert any one to the possibility that this also could be an April Fool’s prank. Added to this was my remark that as I would be going off in the afternoon to my favorite aunt’s place for my birthday celebrations there with my family, so everyone better come over early enough before I leave and before the limited bars of chocolates that I have brought over were exhausted.

I kept a large box with the Cadbury logo displayed prominently on top in my drawing room and carefully packed it with many sheets of paper to make it appear heavy enough. On the first sheet inside was written in bold letters, “Wish you a very happy April Fool’s Day”.

Every person with whom I shook hands and offered the box, opened it to give different reactions when they read the message inside and realized the prank.

Reactions of different persons varied from amusement to exasperation to resignation to the fact that they had fallen for a trap in which they had been so skillfully led in to. But a few could not conceal their irritation.

To ensure that the prank worked with every single person who came over I had also brought a real box of Cadbury bars, that I offered once they overcame their discomfiture that they had been fooled. With the real bar offered, I also extracted a promise that they would not let the cat out of the bag with others who would come later.

That ensured that virtually all of my friends were fooled, and also ensured an audience of those who had already been fooled staying over to watch the reaction of the newcomers who so very innocently came to greet me.

Only a few of my friends who had noted down my actual birthday realized that this was an April fool’s prank and only they called me up to check that out or tell me outright that they suspected this to be the case and congratulated me on a very convincing prank.

The lesson from this for others to play April fool’s day pranks is to make the prank sound very natural for it to appear convincing.

Have a token gift, as I gave chocolates, to those who were fooled so that they were mollified and did not bear any grudge, if at all.

With this strategy in place you can be assured that your April fool’s Day prank will succeed and will also not ruffle any feathers.

- Sudheer Govind Birodkar


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