Wednesday, April 1, 2009
April Fools Day and more memories
I have to admit that I never got April Fools Day. Actually I always found it quite annoying even as a little kid. I hated finding stupid stuff in my desk. I hated finding my stuff missing. As I grew older and started working, people at work would pull pranks. There are some people who absolutely live for April Fools, I am not one of them.
Now don't get me wrong. I like some practical jokes but I like well crafted, carefully planned and wonderfully executed pranks. One of the best pranks I pulled lasted almost a year and it happened all by accident. **Warning** LONG STORY but worth it.
I worked at an organization in West Palm Beach for the homeless. It was a great group of people and a great organization that did a lot of good. Well we had a Volunteer Coordinator, Susan. Since she was beloved by the volunteers she would get silly gifts and always had fun stuff in her office. One day I was walking by her office and she had this little monkey hanging on the door. I have no idea what possessed me to take it. I took it and hid it. Well Susan came and raised holy hell about the damn monkey. For some unknown reason she came to me first to complain about the monkey. Well I denied it because it was true, I didn't have the monkey, my other co-worker had it. So the next day we put it back and she was fine.
A few days later someone had taken some of the assorted toys we had in our offices into our break room (don't ask me why-I think our bosses kids were there and they loved taking stuff and playing). Anyway, someone came into my office and asked if they could move the toys into the office and I said yes. So I am sitting at my desk looking at all these stuffed toys and had a brainstorm. I decided that I would take the monkey and one of my stuffed toys and "lose" them. So I called in my co-worker Christy and told her to take the monkey and my spider and some other stuffed toy and hide them. She did. So I left the office and when I got back Susan was raising holy hell again. I told her that the monkey and my other toys were here when I left but I had gone to talk to Christy and now they were gone. I feigned my outrage as well. We walked around quizzing everyone and since no one knew, it was believable.
By this time Christy had told 2 other co-workers, Jan & Laura. So I decided that they needed to be brought in but it had to stop there. I really hadn't planned to make this some long involved thing but I realized that we could get away with a lot of stuff if we kept quiet. So we all plotted to send Susan pictures of the monkey in various locations. Christy took care of that and she also set up an email account for Monkey McBride. We started sending Susan pictures of Monkey McBride and Spidey and the other toy in undisclosed locations, mainly Laura and Christy's houses. When Susan got the emails, she came into my office and accused me of being the kidnapper and I denied it. I said I didn't take the monkey and didn't take the pictures. Technically, I wasn't lying. The good part of all this is that although everyone suspected me (as they should have) no one ever suspected the others. So this also went on for a while and one day we decided to return one of my stuffed toys. When it showed up I pretended I was upset and went and questioned everyone. At that point, people were starting to wonder if I was involved or not.
This nonsense went for awhile. Often we would have the monkey in the office and we would take pictures of it in Susan's office and then send them to her. We also took a picture of the monkey at her Volunteer Thank You party. OMG that was crazy. The theme was A Mad Hatter Tea Party (I was the Cheshire Cat, of course) and her friend had made this elaborate cake/cupcake display and we all had to figure out how to get the monkey on the display without the over 150 people attending seeing us do this. We finally recruited another co-worker dressed as one of the playing cards to sit with Monkey McBride. We swore her to secrecy and she complied. We sent Susan the picture and it drove her nuts. It was brilliant.
She still suspected me so I had to take it up a notch. So I told our other co-worker Jan to take my spider and cut off one of it's legs and post it on my office door. She freaked out but did it. So one morning I come in and freaked out when I found Spidey's leg on my door. I walked around the office and act all outraged and my eyes even teared up. God, I deserved a freaking Oscar for that performance. Meryl Streep had nothing on me!! At that point, Susan and the others started believing I wasn't involved. We had some other pranksters in the office so we would drop hints that it might be others. No one ever suspected Laura or Jan because for the most part they were very quiet and worked hard and never got in trouble. No one suspected Christy because she kept to herself most of the time. But underneath their exteriors lurked an evil and crazy streak. And they turned out to be as evil as I was!! I loved it. As time went on, Spidey lost another leg. To make it more dramatic, I kept the two legs hooked to my desk lamp so people could see how much I cared. hee hee
During this time, Tom and I learned that we would be moving to Santa Fe. So I met with the girls to discuss our options. Should be give Monkey back or would the girls continue the nonsense? We agreed we should continue. I came up with a plan to take Monkey McBride on my trip and then send pictures once I got to Santa Fe and come clean. I was never to implicate Jan, Laura or Christy. I would take the blame. So when Tom and I moved we took Monkey McBride and took pictures. When we got to Santa Fe and settled in, I sent Christy the pictures and we wrote up an email "from" Monkey McBride telling Susan about all his adventures and finally telling her who was behind the kidnapping. In the meantime, the girls and I decided to implicate one of our other co-workers because he loved playing pranks on all of us and he deserved a little payback. So Monkey McBride implicated Derek saying that Carolyn never could have done it alone. I heard that poor Derek had no clue what was going on when Susan went and read him the riot act. hee hee To this day, everyone believes he was involved.
And to this day, no one has any idea that Jan, Laura and Christy were also behind the master plot that is unless they told on themselves and/or they read this blog. I also have to report that Monkey McBride was sent back to Susan and she took him home for safekeeping. I have to say it was a brilliant plot. And we got a lot of mileage out of it.
So playing pranks for one day on April Fools never made sense to me because the best pranks require time and patience and a little help from friends.
Here are pictures of Monkey McBride on his trip. In Tupelo, Mississippi with Elvis, with Spidey at our Santa Fe house and in Alabama.