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Thursday, April 1, 2010

There’s No Fool like an Old Fool…

I think to myself as I walk in the Valley onTualco V. March All Fool’s Day. And I think it of myself, too, especially as I’m walking in a gentle rain, April’s first shower. This morning I remembered to creep up on the kitchen sink cautiously like a cat stalks a bird. On this day of the year, more times than I’m willing to admit, I have proved the Fool before the kitchen sink. I turn on the faucet to fill the coffee pot and receive a cold drenching from the spray nozzle. Some jokester in the household has taped the squeeze grip open and directed it at the first fool who turns on the water. “April Fools!” There’s no fool like a wet fool, either.

When I taught school, on the days April 1 fell on a school day, I had to be ever vigilant for the thumb tack on my chair, chalk in my coffee, or some other student hatched outrage. One April Fool’s Day, I made the mistake of leaving my 8th Grade AP class by themselves for a moment. I returned to the classroom and was momentarily disoriented. In my absence the kids had reversed all their desks, making the rear of the room the head of the class. And then there was the school newsletter fraught with grammatical blunders and misspellings I found in my mailbox about this time of the year. Apparently I was the only staff member who received one. Ah, to be made sport of by the secretarial staff!

I probably deserved to be the drenched fool and the butt of these pranks, a comeuppance of sorts for my own little shenanigans on some of the good Valley people. Most of these mischiefs befell my good-natured friends Jerald and Tina Streutker. There was the time I topped off their roadside iris row with gladiolus. I particularly enjoyed pranking Goosie, the concrete goose Streutkers brought back from the midwest. Tina would dress it accordingly per season or holiday. I called it “The Goose for all Seasons.”Aloha Goosie There was Aloha Goosie posing beside a pineapple that mysterioBee Goosieusly appeared at her side; bee Goosie received a nice jar of wildflower honey; and sprouting among her basket of eggs, Easter Bonnet Goosie discovered several golf balls that were somehow spirited there from the Sky Valley DrivinE.Bonnet Goosieg Range.  

I will explain in a later post how a fully decorated miniature Christmas tree strangely appeared next to a mole mound on Tony Broer’s pristine lawn (pristine,that is, until the moles decided to move in and share Christmas).

The biggest April Fool’s hoax of all time was perpetrated by the BBC in 1957 and fooled the people of an entire nation. The “mockumentary” showed young women in native costume working in the annual spaghetti harvest. The young harvesters were shown in a “spaghetti grove” pulling limp strands of pasta from trees and shrubs and depositing them in wicker baskets. Hardly had the broadcast aired than the BBC was inundated by calls—viewers calling to set the station straight on the true source of spaghetti and many others thanking the BBC for such an educational program; prior to the show, they had no idea where spaghetti came from. That a broadcasting company could fool an entire country, I guess ,was possible because the Brits had only but recently been introduced to the dish.

So as you go about your daily routine on this, the First of April, remember: when fools rush in, they get drenched at the kitchen sink. But these days thanks to the advice of George W. Bush,  our forty-third president,  I’m a wiser man: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says ‘Fool me once, shame on you…shame on you. Fool me….you can’t be fooled again.”

Like I said, “There’s no fool like an old fool.” And on this day, I wish luck to you all. Can you find the luck in this photo?Clover park

(I couldn’t either. Looks like a regular roadside clover patch to me. “April Fools!”)

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