There will be no April Fool’s Days shenanigans from these bloggings, for a number of reasons. I’ve hated the semi-holiday since my childhood. When I was four or five–and I remember this clearly–my parents pulled a “prank” on by telling me that The Muppet Movie was airing that night on TV. This was, of course, before Netflix or the internet: hell, it was before VCR’s were common, so every American living room had a TV Guide sitting on the coffee table, the shows you wished to see circled in ink. “Appointment viewing” wasn’t a catch-phrase: you watched things at a certain time or not at all. Maybe you could see an episode again during the summer, but you couldn’t bet on it.
And I loved The Muppet Movie. Not so much for Kermit and Miss Piggy; as a child, I couldn’t get enough of Charles Durning, so my little-kid heart exploded with joy at the thought of spending two hours with my furry friends: Fozzie and Gonzo and the scruffy, shaggy, slightly-sad piano player
Keith Brent Rowlf the Dog!
Ha-ha, my parents cried after a few minutes. What an April’s Fool you are! The Muppet Movie isn’t on, just that comedy about the Korean War! (Sitcoms were allowed to be about proxy wars between us and the Commies back then, children.)
I pitched a conniption. Partially because of the disappointment, but mostly because of how shitty the joke was. Looking back, I can at least take solace in the fact that my parents weren’t doing it at the behest of a thoroughly untalented talk-show host, but still: this was the best they could do?
Pranks are the opposite of pizza or naps or boobies: even when they’re great, they still kind of suck.
The Dead never cared much for April Fool’s Day. Once, they opened a show on each other’s instruments. Garcia and Brent sat behind the drums, Billy strapped on Phil’s bass, and Mickey sang precisely as well as you would expect him to. When Bobby needs to help you remember the lyrics, something has gone horribly wrong.
That was about it as far as Dead-related celebrations of the Feast of Fools went. Billy had been legally enjoined from pulling any pranks because they always ended up with refugee camps been set up and Doctors Without Borders being called in. Bobby pranked Keith one year by sleeping with Mrs. Donna Jean, but in all honesty, Bobby had no idea what the date was; he can’t help it if he’s lucky. People would occasionally try to prank Mickey and then Mickey would fly into a rage and break their collarbones.
The Dead didn’t care for April Fool’s Day for the same reason alcoholics stay in on New Year’s: they were Pranksters, and everybody hates a tourist.