Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pity the Fool

Here's the thing about April Fool's Day: I'm a pretty good sport, or at least not a bad sport. I will not relish tricks played on me (especially if they involve switching salt for sugar, because that cereal looked so doggone delicious and now, waaaaaah) but I will PRETEND that I do.

I beam and glow when the April Fool's joke is one of long-standing, and I don't care whether I'm the fooler or the fool-ee in this case. I will smile all day.

But don't ever pull an April Fool's joke on me that plays on my sympathy or my good will. Not ever. Because I will hate you, no matter how funny you think it is or how hilariously you shout that I am an APRIL FOOL!

Here is an example: I read a blog written by a guy who calls himself the Fat Cyclist. I am not a cyclist, but this guy makes me laugh and he has lived through some pretty grueling things with his sense of humor intact, so I've kept him in my blog reader. Yesterday his post asked readers to take a survey, because he has experienced financial difficulties and has decided he needs to monetize his blog and would like to know how to appeal to advertisers.

You see where this is going, right? 

I did not, because his wife had died of cancer and I have friends whose medical bills are huge millstones around their necks right now. I took the survey. I naively spent several minutes of my life answering questions, and while I should have been tipped off by the question "What is your annual salary? How much do you wish it was?" my punking radar obviously was on the fritz. By the time I realized that the whole thing was a big ol' YOU'RE AN IDIOT moment, I didn't feel fooled, I felt deceived.

There is a big difference between those two feelings. The April Fool feeling is fun--you got me! I really thought for a second the Royals had traded for a great pitcher! Ha ha ha! The deceived moment makes me doubt myself--how many other sob stories have I fallen for?

It reminds me of a time, years ago, when a friend called.

"MomQueenBee," she said quietly, "I need help. I'm in trouble and I need money."

This was back before my return to the work force, when we were making ends meet only by stretching the middle almost to the breaking point. Still, this was a friend in need. I immediately began wondering what I could sell or do to find the money this friend needed.

"I've been locked up in the heart association's Cardiac Arrest, and I need money to pay my bail!" she said gleefully.

Oh, no, no, no. Do not do that to me. Do not test me on my friendship and then reveal that this is a FUNDRAISING EVENT.

And even though this was a friend and the cause was a good one, we did not contribute. Had she led with the fact that she was raising money for an organization that we already support, we'd have come up with some cash.

So go ahead. Put salt in the sugar bowl, and a fake spider in my pencil drawer. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me as many times as you want on April Fool's Day.

Just don't make me feel like a fool when I was only trying to be a good person.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. I was (moderately) okay with my radio station tricking me that they were switching formats (though I felt like an idiot for believing it, and I don't enjoy feeling like an idiot), but not with the fake pregnancy announcement or etc. type of trick.