Your April-Fool’s Joke is Not Good Enough if I Don’t Regret Having Trusted You
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.

I love April-Fool's jokes.

I don't care so much for ones played on me by someone I don't know, by a source I don't trust. No, it's best when it's a friend or trusted source, when the joke is so good that I actually regret having given them my trust. Yes, the satisfaction you feel when you make me regret having trusted you..... well, jokes just don't get better than that, now do they?

One of the best ever was back in 1998, when I'd been working for Yahoo! for a year. This was near the beginning of Yahoo!'s great heyday and we were putting out new properties left and right... Yahoo! Mail,  Yahoo! Atlanta,  Yahoo! Auctions,  Yahoo! This,  Yahoo! That.  It was common for a pre-launch company-wide invitation to check out the a site and pass along feedback to the developers, and I often spent considerable energy on this, as many of us did. So one day when a company-wide call went out to check out the forthcoming “Yahoo! Jokes” site, I spent several hours combing through its mechanics to provide feedback.

Of course, you see where this is going: it was April 1st, and the entire site was a joke, as was the company-wide call to action. I'm sure they got a great laugh at everyone who wasted hours of their paid workday, and I learned a great lesson in return: never again to trust the person who sent the request.

Perhaps I'm just a sourpuss, but it seems that the whole point of April Fool's jokes these days is to trick someone into believing you, which put another away, is to make them regret having trusted you. Trust and respect shouldn't be so easily discarded.

Of course, having fun is fun, so if it's obviously silly (like this from Seth Godin), I'm all for it. Just don't teach me to not trust you.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

I thought these two were pretty well done:


— comment by Mike Nelson Pedde on April 3rd, 2012 at 3:09pm JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I have only played one April Fool in my life and your email has prompted confession time.
It was a “good one”… elaborate, and quite alarmingingly believed. I don’t think I have ever felt so bad about a so called “joke”…

I was a trainee CPA accountant in my mid twenties – and sharing a hard working house studying with two guys one of whom was a US citizen, but who had not lived in the US since he was a small child. I had another friend, in her 50s also a US citizen who had lived in the UK 30 years plus. But she had never filed a US tax return at all in that time.

My older friend had recently been sent an IRS demand requesting – on a very scabby, multiple photocopied slip of paper (laser printers really didn’t exist then) – income taxes forms for 1985,1986,1987. So I borrowed it, tippexed out the older friends name, got some used US stamps from an old album, typed an envelope in “courier” and left it on the door mat of our house.

It was Good Friday (a bank holiday in the UK – hence no post deliveries) and April 1st, about 1988.

To my consternation my US housemate fell for it hook, line and sinker. He even telephoned the US Embassy (fortunately closed) – what can I say. We owned up very quickly and rather shamefaced. You see you are absolutely right: never abuse the trust of a friend – jokes are always an attack of some sort. I think he forgave us.

Actually, in this case, your trust would have been left intact if you’d never fessed up! 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Annie in London on April 4th, 2012 at 5:49am JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting