Residents recall past April Fools’ Day pranks

By William P. Thompson

Had a good prank played on you lately? Today being April Fools’ Day, one might want to stay on guard. Some area residents recently recalled April Fools’ pranks played on them in the past. Some pranks were minor, and some were doozies.

Portales city employee Cathy Kennedy said her husband looks forward to April Fools’ Day.

“My husband always gets the drop on me,” Kennedy said. “He called me once (on April Fools’ Day) and said ‘Well, I just quit my job.’ I was worried. I said, ‘Oh Lord, it’s up to you.’”

Fortunately for Kennedy her husband was just pulling her leg.

Eleven-year-old Jesse Hooper said he pulled a classic on his cousins one April Fools’ Day. It was a variation on the whoopee cushion gag

“I had a fart machine. I placed the button under a seat cushion and my cousins sat down on it,” Hooper said. “It made a fart sound.”

Roosevelt County Deputy Clerk Donna Carpenter said she helped her daughter pull a stunt on her fifth-grade classmates one year.

“I made chocolate-covered cotton balls and my daughter gave them to her classmates,” Carpenter said. “Most of the kids tasted them and spit them out, but one or two actually ate them.”

Rick Ashcraft remembers playing dastardly April Fools’ jokes on his daughter Trisha when she was little.
“I’d tell her that we were going on a trip to Florida, when we really weren’t,” Ashcraft said. “I made it up to her by taking her to museums at White Sands.”

Trisha Ashcraft, now a Portales High School student, said she remembers a prank her seventh-grade classmates pulled on their teachers.

“Two classrooms switched classes, while the teachers were out,” Ashcraft said. “The teachers were shocked.”

Roosevelt County maintenance worker Joe Batista said one time a fellow landscaping employee caught him off guard.

“He had placed what looked like a large heavy rock in the wrong place, and I saw that it was in the wrong place,” Batista said. “I was kind of mad because I knew I had to go remove it and place it in the right spot. When I went to lift it, it was just light Styrofoam.”

Retired Portales resident Wanda Pettus said she has never been a big fan of April Fools’ Day.

“I never like April Fools’ day because I guess it makes me look foolish,” Pettus said. “One time a fellow employee came into work on crutches. I was so sympathetic to her. It took me a half hour to figure out she was just fooling.”

Justin Johnson, an employee of Fitness ‘n More in Portales, said his grandmother got him good one year.

“She called me early in the morning and told me her tires were flat and she needed a ride,” Johnson said. “By the time I had gotten out of bed and got dressed she called back to say it was an April Fools’ joke. I just laughed.”