Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My favorite April Fool's Joke

I'm probably going to re-post this every April Fool's Day until I die.  When I linked it on Facebook for the first time, my college roommate, Scott Moore, declared the entire prank to have been "brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed". 
I couldn't agree more.  I've changed a name or two, in light of about 500 people having different memories of how they heard it first. 

Somewhere around 1982, my mother played an April Fool's Day prank on me. We don't remember what it was, except that it was effective and complicated. I immediately vowed to have my revenge.
April Fool's Day in 1983, I was in my Delta State University dorm room with my roommate, Scott A. Moore. (Scott A. now busies himself playing trumpet in the Memphis Symphony. Hit the link.)

Scott and I waited until about 11:45 p.m., and then called my parents' house. My mother answered. 

"Is this Elizabeth Patterson ?" Scott asked.
"Yes it is." (still coming out of a deep sleep)
"Are you the parent or guardian of Allen Patterson?"
"YES I AM !" (wide awake now)
"Mrs. Patterson, my name is John Jakes, and I'm with the Cleveland, Mississippi police department. Are you in a place where you can talk?"
"YES I AM !" (totally wide awake.)
"Mrs. Patterson, we have arrested your son Allen for possession of a controlled substance, and we're holding him in one of the cells at the Bolivar County Sheriff's department, and we need to know if either you or your husband can come down and post bond and.....
"You mean you've arrested ALLEN ??? MY SON ALLEN?" (Needing to be scraped off the bedroom ceiling.)
"Yes, Mrs. Patterson, as I said, we've arrested Allen for possession of a controlled substance and..."

At this point, my mother says the only thing she could think of was who she could get to ride to the jail with her.... Billy Joe Waldrup or Lonnie Herring. She wanted one of them (they're both really big men) to beat the hell out of me, because she didn't think my father would do it properly. To fully appreciate the situation, you also need to know that I was employed as the part-time choir director at a Baptist church. A nice drug bust at this time would've been....awkward.

Then Scott, still in character as Officer John Jakes, said "Mrs. Patterson, would you like to speak to Allen?"
I could hear her on the phone from halfway across the room. "YES I WOULD."
"Mama?" I said.
"Yes," I said. "I just want to tell you something."
"April Fools," I said.

That was 25 years ago. She's never done another April Fool's joke. Not on me, anyway.

No comments: