I turn 50 later this year, and to be the instigator of April Fool’s pranks seems a bit juvenile, but perhaps that is what keeps folks younger than they really are… I happened to be in Cebu this year, so staff in the office were all a bit wary on April 1st, watching each others backs, whispering my whereabouts throughout the day. It was an uneventful day, and I left a few minutes before 5, to everyone’s apparent relief. I had planned it that way.
Folks in the office are convinced we have a resident “guest” or two. Strange sightings of “white ladies” flitting about at night, paper punchers that punch on their own, papers floating in the air have all put them on edge in recent months. Being directly behind what is bizarrely referred to as Cebu’s “haunted house” doesn’t help at all. Needless to say, they are a little wound up about the supernatural. Of course none of these “sightings” happen when I am around.
On April 2, I waited until the sun had set and the gardens surrounding our office turned dark. I left a window in the conference room unlocked, with drapes drawn. Our offices can’t be much more than 100m2 and some 5 unsuspecting staff members remained in mostly the central workspace, trying to figure out an insurance issue I had left them. I said my normal goodbyes, shut the lights in the conference room, got into the car, and apparently drove off, so everyone was under the impression I had left the property.
Instead, I was lurking in the gardens, waiting for Chief of Stuff (COS) to hide the vehicle and double back to the office. When we were both in place, our plan was put in motion. I opened the conference room window from outside, carefully put my arm through the metal bars and drapes, and flung a square box into the conference room, aiming at a bottle of water on the conference table, hoping to make a ruckus that staff would hear, and wonder what caused it as there was no one in that part of the office. I missed the bottle, but there was a thud on the wooden table. I then reached in with an empty coke light can, which I drink often, and flung that some 5 meters into the center of the office, where it landed on the floor, clattering and rolling…
Just as they were trying to figure out how the can got there, and what the noises were, COS pulled the office circuit breaker to kill all the electricity and the office went pitch dark. Needless to say, there were several screams. I could have gone a bit further and held the front door shut from outside, but decided that might be too much. Instead, I stepped into the office in darkness and let out a yelp. They finally figured out it was a belated April Fool’s joke. When the lights went back on, it was clear that at least three folks had had a minor fright, and I don’t know what evil in me thinks this is amusing, but it was. Everyone had a very good laugh. Happy April Fool’s Day!