Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day

With April 1st coming tomorrow, I am beginning to feel unsettled inside of my stomach. Maybe this is because every year in my childhood Mom would tell of her great April Fool's day joke on her dad. On April 1st, I waited for the story, and then I anticipated she might pull a prank on me. Sometimes she did, but it was never much. I did not pass the April Fool's tradition on to my children.

April Fool's day or All Fool's day is practiced in many countries around the world with jokes and sending people on what is termed a "fool's errand." This is what Mom did to her dad.

As Mom remembers it now, she believes she was prodded by her mother to carry out this well-conceived prank. Before I begin this tale, a little background of the telephone is needed.

Back in the 1940s and early 1950s most homes in the rural communities in Utah did not have telephones. Telephones were used extensively in larger cities but not much in rural parts. In many small towns one home was designated to have the telephone and the responsibility to receive calls for all in the community. The home owner had a phone inside and outside there a phone booth-type building for people to return a call. When a call was received, the home owner took a message and then went and found the person of whom the call was for. Then the "callee" would return to the telephone owner's home and return the call. A very small fee was charged for this service.

One April Fool's when Mom was a child [being prodded or not] she went out into the field of her ranch where her dad was working. She informed him that he had received a call and that he was to go to town and return it. This would require him to leave the field, go home, clean up and travel the several miles into town. He did all of this only to discover when he got into town that in fact no one had called him.

Mom doesn't remember much of what happened when he returned only that she exclaimed to him, "April Fools."

Have a great day and don't pull any pranks Mom wouldn't do.

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