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The Perfect April Fools Prank

April April! - Claudia Hautumm  /

As a child I was always looking forward to the months of March and April. March because my birthday was coming up and April because some real mischievous fun was coming up on April Fools Day.

April Fools Day or April 1st is an unofficial national holiday in Switzerland where everyone tries to outdo the others with the best prank. This includes school children, parents and even most national newspapers. It's always fun to check different news stations for their April Fools Fake News.

As with most holidays where children are usually the ones who enjoy them most, April Fools Day in Switzerland is a feast mainly for its underage population. Doing something silly and then shouting "April April" is just the best! Looking back to my own childhood, there is one April 1st prank that stands out. I was in 3rd grade and the whole class conspired together to create the perfect scare for our (poor) teacher.

The Perfect Aprils Fools Prank

A little background to my story: The primary school curriculum in Switzerland includes textile crafts class and a workshop class where you also learn to use different machines to work materials like wood and metal. During my schooling years, this mandatory workshop class went from 3rd to 5th grade.

The workshop class offered the perfect setup for our prank. We were just learning to use mechanical saws which can be dangerous if not used correctly. Our teacher was always reminding us to stay focussed while we worked and to always keep our fingers, hair and other body parts in check. There was also one larger mechanical saw that we weren't allowed to use.

You might be able to guess where this is going. The boys in our class decided to do a classic ketchup setup where someone pretends to have cut themselves heavily and smears the tomato paste all over. The big saw was to be the center piece of this act.

We needed a distraction. We had to make our teacher leave the room for a moment so we could set up the blood display. This was the task of the girls. Some of us were to go downstairs and then call to our teacher in distress so she would go check out what's going on only to be called back up by hysterical screams from the rest of us.

What a neat little plant, right?! We pulled it off perfectly. I'll never forget the teachers shock and horror at the sight of the big saw, the small student and lots of ketchup all over. Even though we quickly told her that it was just a prank ("April April") she was clearly shaken for quite a while afterwards. Oh, and she got mad! We got some sort of punishment but I cannot remember what. Clearly, the fun of the prank outdid the punishment.

Looking back on it now, it seems like a very brutal joke to play on anyone. There are definitely funnier and more subtle ways to play a prank on April Fools Day!



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