"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


foolish april

Four years ago on April 1, I got called to "Come on Down!" because I was in fact the next contestant on the Price is Right. Having been awake since 3am that day, and having been in line for about nine hours, I didn't really hear the guy say it, until my friends nudged me and said, "That's you!" and I realized that I needed to, well, go on down to Contestant's Row.

I relate this story not to tell you how cool it was to be on the Price is Right with Bob Barker (it was), but because of what happened after the show ended, after I signed waivers and tax forms for my parting gifts, and after one of the producers surreptitiously handed me my autographed picture of Bob Barker, telling me to hide it under my shirt because if anyone saw it, they'd get mobbed. The Drama Queen and College Roommate Numero Dos and I got out to the car and our phones, and, of course, started calling everyone we know to tell them that I'd made it on the show.

And nobody believed me. At least not at first. Because it was April Fools' Day, and I like to play practical jokes.

Since then, I haven't even tried to pull anything on April Fools', partly because I can't think of anything funny to do, and mostly because April is the busiest month of the year for an academic. Unlike my morning radio station, no one on Texas in Africa will be pretending to have changed formats or anything else. Today I need to get 65 midterms graded, pack for Chicago, go to the doctor, get an oil change, have dinner with the Former Fundamentalists, meet with a professor who knows something about education in Africa, and take my recycling in. And that's no joke.


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