Good vs. Mean April Fools’ Jokes

Sloan woke up especially early this morning. We put her in our bed to watch Mickey Mouse while we got ready for the day. Sidney went outside to put a few items in her car. Several seconds after she walked out, I dashed after her. With great alarm in my voice, I exclaimed, SIDNEY! Sloan just threw up all over herself and the bed!

With us running on such a tight schedule, a soiled bed and a sick child was the last thing we needed. Sidney let out a big groan. However, I wasn’t going to keep her in misery for long.

APRIL FOOLS’, Sid! April Fools’.

Relief and a little bit of anger set in. I offered an apology and we went on with our morning.

I felt a little bad pulling that prank because, to be honest, I don’t like April Fools’ Day myself. I especially despise how it plays out on social media, something I made perfectly clear four years ago. But my desire to subtly celebrate today got the best of me this morning.

Here is my philosophy on April Fools’ jokes: First, stay away from social media pranks. Nothing asks for shameless attention more than a sad attempt at announcing you are moving to a different country or that you are pregnant when really you are not.

The second half of my philosophy is to startle, not excite. Wait, what does that even mean?…

What I mean is this – play a joke that delivers bad news (will cause a startle), not a joke that delivers good news (will excite the person). Does this confuse you even more? I believe a joke is more cruel that gives someone hope that something really good happened to them (won the lottery, received a promotion, etc.) than a joke that gives someone a negative jolt (accident happened, made a big mistake, etc.).

I feel like if you must play a joke on someone, leave the person with a positive emotion rather than a negative emotion. Pulling someone’s leg in a way that they are happy a bad event never happened is better than making someone sad that a good event never did. To lift up someone’s hopes only to crush them is not very funny…it is mean.

Still have a gag up your sleeve for the remaining hours of April Fools’ Day? If so, I hope your execution is seamless and the joke itself funny for all involved. Don’t Blink.

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