I consider myself an expert now at April Fool’s Day. That’s kind of what happens when you have trolls for parents: you learn it’s a dog-eat-dog world of short-sheeting, unscrewed salt shakers, and being woken up at the crack of dawn by air horns.
And then you learn how to plot revenge.
Many pranks are decidedly traumatic and destructive, some are elaborate and time-consuming hoaxes, and others are simply done to death. Many will require your aid to fix, such as when you decide you’re going to change someone’s keyboard settings or have their monitors display upside down. Others are age inappropriate and can’t be used on your children. Others might be so annoying that they get you fired.
These are all sub-optimal pranks.
A clever April Fools Day troll will plan their hoaxes with care to exact maximum hilarity with minimum expense, cleanup, and potential to end up in divorce, on suspension and/or paying for therapy. They will also take advantage of their surroundings and events. I once expertly forged a memo from the municipal IT department regarding our two-week old networked photocopiers about how the voice-command feature was now available, and as I heard people talking in ever-louder voices to the copier as though it was deaf, I giggled in my office and never had to confess my responsibility to anybody.
That’s how the best pranks should work.
Here’s five simple, harmless, cheap, no-mess, fast, most-age-appropriate pranks that you can use on anyone who crosses your path on April 1st:
1. Mix Skittles, M&Ms, and Reeses Pieces together (or other similar-shaped candy) and leave them out for unsuspecting snackers.
It’s not even a waste of food, and it’s also an excellent way to pay back lunch-stealers.
1.a Also good: offering Thrills, the gum that tastes like soap, though you may have to remove it from its packaging ahead of time or do a fast sleight of hand.
2. Stick googly eyes on all of the victim’s magazines, motivational posters, and movies. Also food items in their lunch. In fact, anything that might be turned into a googly face.
Everything is 372% more funny with googly eyes. And creepy. Bonus: this works well at all times of year. It’s the cheapest indoor fun you can have for under $5.
3. Perhaps the least interesting to show in a photograph, but certainly the easiest and funniest to be a fly on the wall for: unplug their computer from the wall and/or turn off the power bar.
Seriously. They will lose their minds. Hours of productivity may be lost. And if they bug you for tech support, you can crabbily grouse, “Have you made sure that it’s plugged in?”
They will probably never say another word about it out of humiliation.
4. Alternately, cover up their mouse sensor.
It will probably take them longer than they’d like to admit to fix the problem.
By the way, if you do either of these computer pranks at work, you may want to let tech support at work in on your gag unless you would also like to find yourself the butt of a prank from the IT staff before the end of the day.
5. Seal the top of the shampoo bottle shut in the morning with plastic wrap under the lid. Toothpaste. Also, the condiment bottles.
In fact, anything with a lid is pretty much fair game. Just don’t do it with the toilet, because not only does it seldom work, you’ll regret it the one time it does.
What’s the best April Fool’s Day prank you’ve successfully pulled off?