THIS MORNING MY SISTER EMAILED, advising me to get outside ASAP because the cows were out.
I typed a hurried response: “But the bus is coming. And your toast is burning!”
Neither Lanae or I live on farms any more. So what was going on?
Lanae, unlike me, remembered today is April Fool’s Day. And those three falsehoods were the lame jokes we tried to pull on our siblings every April 1 while growing up on a southwestern Minnesota dairy and crop farm.
Those pranks are mere child’s play compared to the joke my cousin Jeff, who celebrates his 25th wedding anniversary today, pulled off on his unsuspecting parents in 1990. He mailed an announcement of his marriage to Janet at the St. Louis County Courthouse. It was a private affair with only Janet’s daughters, Heidi and Amber, attending.
As the story goes, my Uncle Harold paled upon reading the news. And Aunt Marilyn, in shock, picked up the phone and dialed her daughter, who knew nothing of Janet. Marilyn, already formulating a wedding reception in her mind, called the northern Minnesota school where Jeff taught math. Jeff was summoned to the principal’s office.
When he was finally able to calm down his stunned mother, he advised her to look at the back of the card. There he had typed: rehcstelk ffej morf gniteerg sloof lirpa na.
Backwards, the words revealed: an april fools greeting from jeff kletscher.
There was no northwoods bride, no marriage, not even a girlfriend.
He had just created the stuff of family lore and legend.
After receiving my sister’s email this morning, I emailed my bachelor cousin to wish him and Janet a happy anniversary and inquired as to how many years they had been married.
“Twenty-five wonderful years!!!,” Jeff enthused. “I believe we made silver.”
No, Jeff, I believe you made gold.
Can you top this April Fool’s prank?
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling