APRIL FIRST, SIXTY YEARS AGO

One spring morning in Sacramento, when I was in first grade, I brushed my teeth, got all dressed, then went into the kitchen where Mom and Dad were talking over coffee. While I ate my toast,  Mom brushed and braided my hair,  and Dad asked me what time it was.  I was very proud that I had learned to tell time, uh-hunh.

The clock said it was eight o’clock.

EIGHT O’CLOCK?!

I HAD TO BE AT SCHOOL IN MY DESK AT EIGHT O’CLOCK?

“OH NO! I’m late! I’m late!”

I wailed and cried, ran into my room for my shoes, blubbering all the way.

Mom and Dad called, “Hurry, hurry, hurry!”

I quickly made my bed, grabbed my books, glanced at the clock radio next to my bed…

Stopped…

Looked again, then stomped my foot, “Auugh!”

Back in the kitchen I looked from Mom to Dad,

“Why does the clock in my bedroom say it is only SEVEN o’clock?!”

Dad grinned at Mom.

“April Fools!”  They hollered together.

“THAT IS NOT FUNNY! YOU ARE NOT FUNNY!”

They were holding onto each other, laughing, enjoying the joke.

“We’re sorry. Don’t be mad.  We turned the clock ahead as a joke!  Just a joke.  You are not late!”

I huffed out the door and dramatically sobbed and muttered all the way down 8th Avenue to Donner Elementary on Stockton Blvd, then spent the rest of the day pulling pranks on other kids in my class. In all these many years since, I have never thought of a better April Fools Day prank than that first one pulled by my bratty Mom and Dad.  HA!

 

rJo Herman

4/1/19

 

 

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