Sunday, the first of April, 2012:
What makes a good April Fool's joke? As a young man, I did some groundbreaking work in the field of switching the salt and the sugar in my parents' kitchen, which resulted in getting hollered at and having to switch them back.
In high school, I was that guy who would sign his name "Dick Hertz" on the class roster for a substitute teacher, as well as getting other guys to roll me up in a wrestling mat so that I could be secreted into the girls' locker room.
Later in life, doing an entire DJ show using the names of other DJs seemed to fill the bill. And when the computer age came along, well, I don't know how to explain this, or how someone ever discovered it, but typing C C H # on a certain computer system caused the unsuspecting user to log him or herself off with the very next key stroke.
But over the years, people have become far more cunning in their use of practical jokes in the furtherance of hi-jinx. Take Rick S., from Pennsylvania, who goes around telling people that the existence of birth control measures makes people think about having sex!
When we all know that the existence of air and water and sunshine make people think about having sex.
Then there are the movie theaters selling stale popcorn for more per ounce than filet mignon is going for down at Beefsteak O'Hoolahan's, and the modern version of the old wallet-on-a-string gag: brand name aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
The best pranks used to be the goodnatured stuff we pulled on each other. Nowadays, it's the big corporations pulling stuff on us, and I do wish they would let go!