That’s not funny

A blonde child is sitting on a box of Sunlight soap powder, next to a very tall stack of Coca-cola. She is wearing a blue nightgown. Another blonde child is in the foreground right. The picture is obviously a scanned slide from the 70s.

This is me and my sister with our half-yearly shipment of goods from South Africa. Until I was kindergarten-age, we lived in Zaire, now DR Congo. As you can see, stockpiling is nothing new to me.

What you need to know about DR Congo is that it’s not an accident I’m afraid of snakes. There are green and black mambas in the area I grew up in. They will kill adults in under half an hour, and children much faster (I can’t tell you how uncomfortable that research made me, snake pictures, UUUGH).

One spring day, someone came racing up to my dad where he was working at the hospital, and said, “come quick, come quick! Heidi has been bitten by a snake!!”. My dad thought I was dying. He raced home, preparing to comfort me in my last moments.

When he pulled up to our cottage, he found me happily swinging from a tree, not a bit perturbed.

It was April Fool’s Day.

We’re coming up on April 1st again, and the world is full of scary, believable things. Please don’t make jokes about scary things, or people being sick, or ridiculous spending excesses. Really, this might be a good year to skip any kind of corporate prank. If you must, joke with your family or people who share a lot of culture with you, but not with strangers. Don’t try to fool people. Do pranks that are silly, not gotchas or lies. We don’t need any more lies, even ones meant to be funny…eventually.