March 31st: The Annual Day of Readiness

Just a few minutes of preparation today and you’ll be tactically ready for a schadenfreude-filled April Fools Days tomorrow! It’s one of my favorite “holidays” especially if the prank involves water. Here are some classic gotchas that almost everyone in the civilized world has heard of, but continues to fall prey to year after year.

I can’t believe my own mother did this to me. More than once. The ice-laden cereal bowl: put some water in a bowl and freeze overnight. Serve up your victim the next morning with their just enough of their favorite cereal and milk to disguise the ice. Works especially well with anyone who’s “not a morning person.”

Leave it to Martha Stewart to file this prank under “good things” with the attendant beautiful photo:
Turn the kitchen sink into a blue lagoon with nontoxic dye pellets, designed to tint children’s bathwater. Unscrew the cap on the faucet, and set a couple of the colored tabs inside before replacing it. When the water is turned on, the burst of color will be short-lived yet shocking.

I’ve been humiliated by the sink-sprayer stunt at least a dozen times in my life. (It would surely be more were it not for modern pull-out faucets.) Just looking at this photo fills me with resentment towards both of my brothers, but not to the point that I can’t enjoy this video!

From comes these instructions for gelatin-laden toilet water, which seems like way too much labor given the simplicity of the plastic wrap varation. (What about gelatinized bottled water… now that sounds promising!)

Select your victim and location wisely. This will make a mess and may irritate certain people. Be careful. Estimate the amount of water in your toilet bowl. Buy gelatin mix. If you estimate your toilet bowl hold 5 cups of water, then buy 5 packs of clear gelatin mix. Boil the appropriate amount of water. If your toilet has 5 cups of water, then boil 5 cups of water. Pour the gelatin mix into the boiling water. If you boiled 5 cups of water, then pour in 5 packets of gelatin mix. Pour the mix into the toilet. Wait a few hours for the mix to solidify. Since the bathroom is not as cold as your fridge, the mix will take longer to harden and will not get as hard as it would in the fridge. Wait for your victim. When attempting to use the toilet as usual, your victim will find the “water” inside has slightly solidified and will then splash back anything that goes in.

And to close, the classic favorite. I love this trick because it’s hard to pull on females but easy with men. That is, the ultimate girl-power April Fools Day tradition. It is practically guaranteed that I will inflict this on my son and that he will fall for it. Again. Just like last year, and the year before that. (Do you think he’ll grow up to resent this?)

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