When your favorite holiday tradition comes back to bite you
In my family, April Fool's Day is celebrated every bit as much as Thanksgiving, Halloween or Valentine's Day … at least by me.
Think about it. You are being given an actual excuse, even encouraged, to do something rotten to somebody else. It's genius.
My wife, children, parents and, of course, Dear Old Uncle Bob, are some of my favorite targets.
Over the years, my older son has gotten a bogus letter from school about having to go to six-day-a-week summer school.
My younger son got a lunch box full of cereal. No milk, bowl or spoon, just dried cereal filled to the brim.
Uncle Bob had to explain in great detail to a ornery gentleman from a fake fraud prevention company, who spoke with a thick accent, about some strange charges on his credit card indicating he shops at some questionable stores, buys too much cough syrup, and cannot afford his Cadillac and should downsize to a Corolla.
It's all in good fun, right?
Last year, it all went bad.
After a particularly successful day of pranking, I went upstairs to shower, reveling in my April Fool's Day victory. But hell hath no fury like prepubescent kids with vengeance on their minds and no regard for the power of adhesives.
Following my shower, I tried to exit the bathroom to discover the door would not open. After unsuccessfully putting my shoulder into it a few times, I heard giggling on the other side of the door. My boys, my pride and joy, began ridiculing me.
“How do you like it, funny man?” my older boy said.
“Yeah, funny man,” my younger boy parroted.
Using most of a roll of duct tape, the ingenious lads, bent on revenge, secured the door — very, very well.
In the end, an angry wife and a sharp knife was required to extract me from the bathroom. She was pretty mad at them, right? Guess again.
I was reminded in great detail about how my constant tomfoolery is to blame, and how this is all my fault. I, the victim, was then told by my wife to go to my room — which I did.
And since duct tape comes off of wood trim and a painted door about as easily as trying to pull a porcupine out of a wool sock, my weekend was spent sanding and refinishing the door, trim and parts of the wall.
Lesson learned? You better believe it. This year, I'm not taking a shower until those little brats are in bed. Sleep with one eye open, boys. Daddy is bringing his A-game.
Happy April Fool's Day!
Dave McElhinny is the North Bureau Chief with the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 724-772-6362.