Pro tips arrive for April Fool's Day

Pro tips arrive for April Fool's Day

I PITY THE FOOL: The watchword for the day is simply "beware." Trust no one, take nothing for granted.

It's time for the greatest holiday on the calendar, other than Halloween. And my birthday. And Black Friday. Next Wednesday is the celebration of April Fool's, the day when we punish the gullible for being stupid enough to trust people. That's right! Take that, faith in humanity! Ha! Pie in the face! I'm very excited.

"But Don," some of you say, "I'm just not creative enough to come up with an effective April Fool on my own. What can I do to toy with the trust of my loved ones?"

Look no further. I'll give you a few ideas, from novice to expert, which will allow you to not only leave your victims in puddles of their own ignorance but will prevent you from becoming a victim yourself. Let's start with that.

On April Fool's Day, it is even more important than usual to be cynical. Don't trust anything. Even if you live alone, when your alarm goes off in the morning be sure to verify the time one three different devices, one of which you've kept locked in a fireproof box bolted to the bottom of the pillow underneath your head. Changing the time on someone's clocks is an easy trick and anyone who doesn't secure themselves against it deserves to wake up three hours early, late, or next Friday.

When dressing for April Fool's Day, think stain- and water-resistant. You don't know what's going to happen today, so you should be prepared for anything. Be sure to check all of your clothes for notes pinned to them, or messages written on the back. It's Kansas law that anything written on the back of the shirt you're wearing is a binding contract, so you don't want to go outside with a shirt advertising free blow jobs unless you're actually in that line of work.

Beyond this, the watchword for the day is simply "beware." Trust no one, take nothing for granted. You'll notice a lot of people walking around with one hand raised to the level of their eyes, all day long; this is to prevent falling prey to the common-but-still-hilarious April Fool's lasso trick. It's just good sense.

Now, to the active part of your day. The pranking. The 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that no person shall be prosecuted for any April Fool's Day prank which does not cause permanent injury to person or property. That gives us a wide latitude. Let's start with a very basic April Fool, which is not my creation but is my personal favorite. Let's call it the "Craigslist Chewbacca."

The basic crux of a Craigslist Chewbacca bears no relation to the sexual act of the same name. You get your friend's phone number, and then place an ad on local Craigslist that says something like "$100 prize for best Chewbacca impression! Leave a voicemail at [insert friend's number]!"

Simple, easy, irritating. You can play with the theme by using other characters, using more credible stories in the ad, and so forth. No matter the variation it's still a Craigslist Chewbacca…. Unless it's a Facebook Brian Blessed, which you're just not ready for.

But we can do better. A slightly more advanced April Fool is the "Michael Bolton's Ghost." For this you will need access to the victim's computer, and it will need to be Windows based. You'll also need a thumbdrive copy of an mp3 file of Michael Bolton's "I Said I Loved You But I Lied." Put this file in a random directory on your friend's computer, preferably their work computer. Then, from the Control Panel go to Administrative Tools, then Task Scheduler click on the "Action" menu and select "Create task."

Give your task any name you choose. Click on the tab labeled triggers, then click "new." Go down to advanced settings and check the "Repeat task every…" box. On the drop-down menu select "10 minutes" and hit OK.

Now go to the "Actions" tab and select "New." That drop-down menu should default to "Start a program." Leave it on this option and browse for the Michael Bolton hit you've hidden on the hard drive. Click OK here and in the next window and you'll be set. Be sure to turn up their volume before you get away. Then, sit back and enjoy the sweet sounds of America's finest non-Michael McDonald vocalist.

For our most advanced trick, you're probably going to have to spend some money and do some preparation. This one has been done before, but it is sheer brilliance and really impressive if you can pull it off. It's one of those things that will only work because we're in Kansas — you don't need THAT many people to make it work. Find a great drag queen who owns a suit. Take a picture of him in that suit. He needs to be sort of smarmy looking, 50+, and white. Get together with 450,000 of your friends and have them all vote for him as governor in the next election. Then, have him repeal all state arts funding to a level below what is spent by many third-world countries. Have him defund public education so that the public schools will be so bad that everyone will send their children to private schools. Then, have him make it legal for them to teach creationism. Have him pass all sorts of crazy laws like that it's legal for businesses to discriminate against gays and that any registered voters who don't actually vote will by default have their votes tallied for his party. Have him dismantle the economy! Imagine the chaos! Then, elect him for A SECOND TERM! It only takes 450,000 people — that's less than the population of Sedgwick County! Then, once the next April Fool's Day rolls around, have him hold a giant press conference during which he applies makeup, puts on a wig, and changes into an evening gown while singing "I Am What I Am" from La Cage Aux Folles. Everyone will share a great laugh, and slowly rebuild from the wreckage he's left behind.

Whatever you choose to do on April Fool's Day, remember to do it responsibly. Keep the famous acronym in mind: EAFOInC — "Explosions Are Funny Only In Cartoons."