April Fool

I don’t really do April Fool’s Day jokes, and I despise when high-profile web sites or bloggers try to pull pranks on this day each year. It’s just lame.

When I was a kid, I tried my hand at pulling April Fool’s Day pranks, though, and one, which I think my sister dreamed up and I executed, came to mind this morning while I was grumbling to myself about the many stupid jokes I’d see online today.

Mom was into writing calligraphy style. I believe she took classes, and she would write things in the fancy script for people. For a cousin’s wedding gift, she painstakingly wrote hundreds of wedding invitations. Dork that I was, even as a child, I had “from the library of” name plates for my books, and she wrote my name in her fancy script in a bunch of these. Most of those books are long since gone, but I still occasionally find one with one of the name plates in it. She had a bunch of calligraphy pens and refill cartridges to go with them, and I gather these were pretty expensive. In any case, she guarded them carefully, and it was clear that they were not for any old person to use for, say, scribbling or doing homework (which would have been hard anyway, given the shape of the pens’ tips).

We had a little white poodle named Bo Peep. She was a hunter and I gather (my memory being pretty faint) something of a chewer-upper. She made a habit of digging up moles and bringing them to our doorstep.

For our prank, my sister suggested that I run into Mom’s room, crying urgently that Bo Peep had found and was chewing up Mom’s calligraphy pens. I composed myself and did just that, apparently rather convincingly, for Mom jumped up and snarled “Where is she?” and prepared to go salvage what was left of her pens and punish the poor dog who knows how (I remember vividly that when Bo Peep would pee or poop on the floor, we would put her in the corner, and she’d stay there like a forlorn little child, hanging her head). Or maybe my sister did the acting. It gets fuzzy for me here. I suppose I said “April Fool” or that my sister and I did as much together. Whether Mom was mad at us or cooled right down I don’t remember.

And that’s the story. Kind of a crummy plot arc, I know, but it’s what I remember, as best as I remember it, and I wanted to capture it. Mom died almost two years ago, and I think about her a lot lately.