I woke up one lazy morning to the California sunshine peaking out from the cloak of bushy green trees in our lush backyard. My plans for the day hadn’t yet entirely materialized but I could feel it in my bones it would be a great day. I picked up, took a long, uninterrupted, hot shower- a novelty in our crowded house of four- and hopped downstairs for breakfast.
I noticed the house was eerily empty on a beautiful Sunday morning like this. Mom always had Hindi classes, so she required less detective work. But where were Pops and Yogs? I figured they were around here somewhere and began making breakfast. As I impatiently waited for them to show up, eating my waffles and pretending to watch cartoons, they came running in from the front door. Dad was beaming, Yogi was visibly enthused. They could hardly contain themselves.
They gushed and stumbled over one another in a tale of the most interesting, exciting, beautiful park they had ever found. They had just discovered it and driven immediately home to find me and take me there. I was dumbfounded and my heart began racing. Doing something together with my brother and father never failed to be fun and adventurous. We loved to race and compete and we loved- loved to win. This park was situated quite some distance away, so we had to leave immediately so we could get there and spend some time before it got crowded. I was hardly dressed for the occasion, so I jumped up quickly and begged them to wait as I would only be 5 minutes- I promise. They said fine, fine, we’ll just wait in the car, hurry up!
I ran upstairs, grabbed my disposable camera and portable cd player, threw on my favorite pair of wind breaker pants, tied my hair up, and skipping two steps at a time, ran downstairs and towards the garage.
We had this garage door that required some finesse and Bond-like movements in order to trick it, but in essence the button to close the enormous door was on one side, while the door would slowly engage and move downwards in the next 15 seconds or so. In that time, in order to escape the dungeon, you had to run from one end of the garage to the other and duck under the door while it was closing. Not too difficult. However, in our latest repair of the garage door from hell, our repairman had decided to install a little laser beam about one foot off the ground. This beam would determine if there was anything under the door, like a car, or an overlooked folded chair, or a foolish little child trying to defy gravity and risk life by running under the door whilst it shut closed. So NOW you had two obstacles- the laser beam at the bottom and the impending disaster of head meeting door. The goal was to lock up the house without using a key and there was the only way to make that happen. If the laser caught you, the door would go back up and you would have to try the whole thing over again. If the door touched you, you’d have a streak of black oil on your clothes. Eventually the door would get stuck and refuse to move or you’d have soiled your entire outfit, at which point you have most certainly lost in the game of man vs. machine. It would have made sense to just use my key, but somehow that never occurred to me in my 10 years of playing this game with the garage door.
In my excitement and adrenaline, I somehow managed the door at first attempt, and ran out to the street where Dad and Yogi awaited in the car- windows down, sunroof open, shiny white teeth showing.
“SORRY! TOO LATE!” They yelled. Dad hit the accelerator and I watched in disbelief as they zoomed down the street together, leaving me in a wake of confusion and frustration. I stood there watching and waiting. I knew they would turn around at the end of the street. Ok, maybe at the end of the block. Ok, maybe at the next intersection. Where did they go? Why did they leave me? I had no answers, and now that I had successfully locked myself out of the house, I had no where to go. I sat down on the steps of the front porch and cried.
This was my first introduction to April Fool’s Day.
From this day onwards I made it my goal to fool whomever I could, telling them I had been arrested, I had fallen in love, I had decided to move overseas, and I had changed my course in life. I would cook up such intricate, elaborate stories and tricks, there were no limits, no boundaries, for I had been fooled once, and I was determined to fool everyone else thereafter.
Yogi and Dad came home after what felt like 5 hours, but only 30 minutes had elapsed. I refused to respond when they explained it was a silly April Fools Joke, and that I had evidently been fooled. I was so angry and so unable to forgive this clear breach of friendship and trust, that my mission had been set in stone from there on out.
I realize now that I not only made it my mission to fool others, but to be as foolish as possible myself. I take all the roads less traveled, I seek out all the unsafe things to do, and I trust that my foolishness will get me in and likewise out of all the exhilarating unimaginably ridiculous and imperative parts of life. This is what I live for- and this is what they’ve taught me. I treasure them dearly and blame them entirely for it.
P.S. I’ve successfully managed to fool both Yogi and Dad in the years following this treacherous, lovely April fool’s day.