The greatest April Fools’ joke of all time

Do you want to really get someone on April Fool’s Day? To detonate the duke of all jokes, play the pater of all pranks, mastermind the mother of all mendacities? For the following hilarious jape, you need to put in a little prep, but it will be worth it.

Start 4 years in advance by finding someone gullible to go out with you. It is best if you are single at the time, but if you’re good at multi-tasking, you do you.

You’ll be able to identify gullibility on a first date by telling improbable stories with gaping holes. If your potential April Fools’ victim raises their eyebrows at your tale of that time in the ’80s you had a threesome with Sonny and Cher, or looks skeptical when you recount your rescue of a wounded wolf cub in Connemara, you’ll need to keep looking.

When you’ve found someone with a poor knowledge of both the chronology of Cher’s marriage breakdown and the geographical distribution of wild dogs, you can lay the foundations for your prank. The first year that you are together, start talking about April Fools’ from mid-February. They better watch out! You’re going to get them, he he! You need to make it seem like a fondness for practical jokes is a particular, adorable personal quirk.

That first year, suggest a meal out for April Fools’ Day. When the food has been served, drop your fork or napkin and ask them to get you another. When their back is turned, hide a fake spider in their food, or maybe drop one of those novelty ice-cubes with a plastic fly in their coke. Then enjoy the little shriek when they discover the beastie, and share a good-natured chuckle afterwards. “You brat!” they might admonish. But they have no idea.

By the next year, you should be regularly staying at their house. Arrange it so that you leave last on April Fools’ morning, and construct an apple pie bed. It will look like the bed has been neatly made, but in fact you’ve folded the sheet half way and it’s impossible to get in. When they try to snuggle down that night, they will be bamboozled and frustrated until they realise that they’ve been tricked once more. They will telephone you, affectionately exasperated. You scamp!

By year three, you should be living together. Set their alarm for an hour earlier than usual. Balance a pillow on top of the bedroom door so that when they mumble bumble out of bed towards the shower, it falls on their head. When they jump in shock, say, “April Fools’, Babe! You might want to check the time!” “You’re a terror,” they’ll complain, getting back in beside you. They still don’t suspect a thing.

Later that day, call their office and transfer to their extension. In a funny accent, pretend that you are calling from the Revenue Office and that they are being audited. At this point, even the most gullible will be getting wise to your April Fools’ antics, and will quickly scupper your yarn. If they do not, you might need to put in another year or two of training, just until their attempts to foil the foolery are part of the routine.

Year 4. Finally. This is what you have been working for. In March, arrive late for an after work drink, clutching an unmarked brown bag. When they ask you what’s in it, act playfully cagey. Later, carelessly leave a receipt for the local joke shop on a kitchen counter. Later still, conspicuously place the empty wrappers of a fake turd and a bottle of fart spray in the bathroom bin, where your prankee is certain to see them.

Then, on April Fools’ Day, do a real poo in the bathtub. For lower budget pranksters, use Hairspray to give the poo a fixed sheen. I recommend, however, investing in some good quality acrylic paint sealer from an art shop, preferably glossy finish, and spraying the poo with that. It will still smell, but leaving the bottle of fart spray nearby will provide an alibi. Move out all of your belongings and change your phone number.

When your April Fool gets home from work, they will go into the bathroom and see the shiny poo in the tub. Having already divined that a fake poo was going to be your prank for the year, they will shake their head in knowing amusement and reach into the bathtub to pick up your juvenile joke turd. When their hands are covered in real poo and they wrestle through the unbearable stench to the sink, they will likely become very angry. As they scrub first their hands, then the smears from the faucet, then eye the mess in the bath with disbelief, they will mutter through dry heaves, “Too far. Too far this time.”

That’s when they’ll make their way into the kitchen, closing the bathroom door fast on the stink behind them, to find a note that reads:

I never loved you. Our entire relationship has been the build up to this punchline. April Fools!

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