This April Fools’ Day, you may be worried about falling victim to practical jokes and gags, but why spend the whole holiday on guard? Relax, and crack a smile with this assortment of some of our funniest reader submissions:
My dentistry patients are called and reminded the day before their scheduled appointments. During an office visit, one man was in an especially good humor and explained why. “My staff kids me about the high opinion I have of myself,” he said. “Yesterday your receptionist left a message that had them in stitches.”
He related the memo his secretary had handed him: “Your crown is ready.”
— Contributed by Michael M. Stryker
My mother taught for 11 years at a day-care center. One winter afternoon she was trying to show a young boy how to zip up his coat. “The secret,” Mom said, “is to get this piece of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up.”
After struggling with the zipper for several minutes, the boy sighed and said, “Why does it have to be a secret?”
— Contributed by Elizabeth C. Boulter
…With Some Wit on the Side
Our manager at the restaurant where I worked was a much beloved, jovial man. But there was one subject you didn’t dare discuss in front of him — his height. Or, should I say, his lack of it. One day, he stormed through the door and announced angrily, “Someone just picked my pocket!” Most of my fellow waitresses and I were speechless, except for the one who blurted out, “How could anyone stoop so low?”
— Contributed by Bette Moeggenborg
In the 22-story office building where I worked, rush hours meant crowds of people waiting a long time for the three passenger elevators. One evening my boss was one of the throng relegated to the freight elevator.
When a fellow rider complained about having to take this mode of transportation, my boss replied philosophically, “Better freight than never!”
— Contributed by Lamar P. Chustz
My younger brother, I explained to a friend, had quite a temper as a boy. Our parents had tried extra love, attention and patience on him, with little success. Then, in the middle of one of his tantrums, they simply handed him a shovel, pointed to the backyard and instructed him to go out and dig and not come back until he had control of his anger.
“Apparently,” I said, “the therapy worked, because he’s turned out very nicely.”
“What does he do for a living?” my friend asked.
“He builds in-ground swimming pools.”
— Contributed by Lesley Luth
Sew in Stitches
Shortly after graduating from veterinary school, I rode with my mother in the Michigan Trail Riders’ annual trek across state. Late one afternoon, I was summoned to look at a horse that had reared up and flipped over in his trailer. Fortunately the horse was not seriously injured, but some lacerations needed stitching.
As I worked, I heard my mother chatting with the perturbed owner. “Don’t worry, sir,” she said. “My daughter’s a great vet. She’ll fix your horse up just fine.”
“That’s good to hear,” said the man. “How long has she been a vet?”
“A week,” replied my mother, proudly. Then hastily she added, “But she’s been embroidering since she was eight years old.”
— Contributed by Mary Ellen Linn
Down Under Droll
While I was working at a delicatessen in Sydney, Australia, a woman overheard my accent and asked if I was American. “Lovely!” she exclaimed when I told her that I was. “I’ve been looking for one of your lot. My son is living in the States with his American wife, and she sent me a recipe that calls for half-and-half. Could you tell me, luv, half of wot and half of wot?”
— Contributed by E. Beerheide
Take a Number
Our chain of travel agencies was small but growing. As office manager, I often got complaints from staff members who deplored the demise of our family-oriented operation and the impending arrival of Big Brother. Then a computer memo from the home office informed us that we all had been assigned employee numbers. We were to use them instead of names in correspondence or telephone communication with the company.
“This is the last straw!” said an exasperated worker. “We’ve finally been reduced to a number!” commented another. One employee, however, read on. Imagine our delight when she discovered, at the end of the memo, this message: “In our book, you’re all Number One. Happy April Fools’ Day!”
— Contributed by Connie McGough
Our farm borders a main highway, and my husband and I wage a perpetual battle to keep our cows from heading for greener pastures across the road. One evening, as I slogged along the perimeter of our property looking for loose fencing, I saw a neighbor, also a farmer.
His greeting sent me on my rounds with a lighter step. “I see,” he said, “you’re Secretary of DeFence tonight!”
— Contributed by Eugenia Mathes
Bank on a Blunder
As a bank teller, I was required to obtain identification from customers making withdrawals, even if I knew them. On Mrs. Brady’s third visit to my window in a week, she balked at my request for ID. “I can’t believe you don’t know me after all these years,” she said.
A few minutes later, I was relieving the drive-up teller and was surprised to see Mrs. Brady in the next car. “Hi, Mrs. Brady,” I said, laughing. “Back again so soon?”
“I’m glad you remember me,” she huffed, “because that girl inside never does!”
— Contributed by Lynn Kelly