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Pranks from the past

It’s April Fools’ Day, and over the years the Oracle staff has had its fair share of memorable pranks. These are a few of our favorites.

Dinner Date (1)
My boyfriend of three years and I decided to go out for a fancy dinner one April Fools’ Day. Midway through the meal, he began to look solemn and said we had to have an important talk.

He started to tell me that he thought we’d be better off as friends. He told me there was someone else. He said, “It’s not you, it’s me.” At the very end of it, he shouted, “April Fools’!” and started laughing.

I looked at him glumly and told him it wasn’t April Fools’. I showed him the date on my watch—which I had rolled back a day in anticipation of his joke— and his eyes nearly popped out of his head. Then I exclaimed, “April Fools’!” 

Brittanie Drinosky

Gold Rush (2)
My mother was the queen of all things April Fools’ when I was kid, going so far as to dye our milk green one year. But nothing drove my 9-year-old self more insane than the time she Gorilla-Glued $3 in change to the sidewalk in front of our house.

My younger brother and I were thrilled when we walked outside and found quarters scattered on the sidewalk — only to find that they were firmly attached to the concrete.

I figured it was only fair that whoever unstuck the coins first should claim them, so while my brother played tag and basketball, I spent my time trying everything from water to my dad’s good screwdriver in attempts to make myself rich.

I don’t even remember if I got the coins, but I do remember the excitement of finding money and the disappointment of realizing I couldn’t have it. Because when you’re 9, $3 seems like a whole lot of money.

Emily Handy

Slip ‘n’ Slide (3)
Over spring break of my junior year in high school, I took a trip to Gulf Shores, Ala., with a good friend and her mother. We hit the road the day before April Fools’ and my friend’s mother had started early with the jokes. She had already put hot sauce on our cookies and glitter in our dresser drawers, so when the big day came, it was our turn to strike back.

My friend’s mother is a notorious early bird and, in contrast, my friend and I are sloths. But on this April Fools’ Day, we got up before the crack of dawn and squirted vegetable oil on the toilet seat and floor tiles in our hotel bathroom. We went back to bed and woke up to the sound of my friend’s mother slipping and crashing around, cursing the day we were born. Revenge is oh so terribly sweet!

Matt Ferrara

Pop Goes the La-Z-Boy (4)
My father used to be a “professional salesman” on eBay. Basically, he just bought a bunch of things from thrift stores and sold them for twice the price on the Internet. This
operation, which he ran in our house, required him to ship packages out constantly. My garage was essentially a UPS Store.

Right above the power tools, he kept what seemed like an unending ream of
industry-quality bubblewrap. On April Fools’ Day when I was 9, I had my older brother reach up and grab me a pretty substantial piece. I took this piece and wrapped it around my dad’s favorite chair, which I then covered with a bedsheet. After the long day’s work, he sat down and the pops went off, which to my glee sounded exactly like flatulence. It seems immature now, but as a 9-year-old I thought I was a pretty clever lad.

Matt Ferrara

Punch-Out (5)
One time in elementary school, I got bored and started making dark pencil marks on a piece of paper. I found that the harder I drew with the pencil back and forth on the page, the more lead piled up. I could then put the lead on my finger and rub it around my eye to make it look like I had been punched.

Truthfully, I was doing this simply because I was bored with times tables. When my teacher saw me doing it, she got angry and scolded me for making a mess and for misbehaving. But her expression changed quickly, and she asked if I was planning an April Fools’ joke on my parents. I said “yes” to avoid a time-out, but it turned out to be  one of the best pranks I have ever pulled.

I even got my teacher to tell my dad that I had gotten into a fight — the best accidental prank ever!

Joe Polito


The Big Bang

April Fools’ day in my family sometimes passes with no hilarity, but one year my mom and I decided to get payback for my brother and father’s ongoing jokes.

When I was about 10, we put pop-its — those little bundles of rock and explosives that spark and pop when they are thrown on the ground — under the toilet seat in each bathroom. When my brother or dad sat on the seat, the pop echoed extremely loudly and scared them immensely.

It was a funny prank and easy to do. Plus, it wasn’t as messy as putting saran wrap under the seat!

Hannah Feig


Big Money

A friend of mine decided to pull the ultimate prank on his wife. After the winning lottery numbers were released, went and bought a lotto ticket with the same numbers for the following week and saved the newspaper.

He then placed the lotto ticket on the refrigerator and left the old newspaper on the dining room table the next Saturday. When he asked his wife to check the lotto numbers she began jumping around the house and screaming that they had won the lottery!

She was so excited she began making phone calls to share the good news. Needless to say, her husband was in the dog house for weeks after admitting to the prank.

Amanda Moore

The Roaming Gnome
A neighbor of mine experienced an April Fools’ prank that lasted for an entire year. She came home to find her garden lawn gnome had been stolen.

For the remainder of the year, my neighbor received photos and postcards from her gnome, who was apparently jet setting all over the U.S. The gnome was photographed at famous landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge and Seattle Space Needle.

Finally, a year later on April Fools’ Day, the gnome was returned to its place in the garden. To this day she still has no idea who kidnapped him.

Amanda Moore