I do not like April fools, or any other sort of fools. (I do not suffer them gladly.)

I don’t like practical jokes when they’re mean-spirited, and so often they are. For example, there’s the family that gathered the kids for an Easter egg hunt, with no eggs.

(Something like this happened to my daughter once, by accident. The plan was that I’d buy candy eggs on Easter morning after she and her Dad had gone to church, then hide them in the yard and catch up to them at church. The store was out of candy eggs, so I bought Hershey’s miniature candy bars and hid those. Apparently the squirrels found them first… We came home to quite a mess.)

Some April Fools’ Day jokes are pretty funny, I must admit. Years back, the horoscope section in a newspaper included Clamato as a Zodiac sign. (Something like, “You are a disgusting blend of tomato and clam juice. You make us sick just thinking about you.”)

A few from this year:

If there’s any holiday whose spirit shouldn’t last all year, it’s this one.

Children may have a different perspective. My sisters and I didn’t need a reason to play tricks on any babysitter we disliked. On one occasion, a “college girl” was treated to a card game we made up as we went along to ensure she would lose. (“Yes, but the rule is different for tens…” “Oh, forgot to tell you – for the ten of clubs, that rule doesn’t apply…” “That doesn’t count – you can’t match cards unless they’re the same color…” “No, with twos, they have to be opposite colors.”) Somehow, we imagined this horror of humiliation would send her running from the house, vowing never to return!

On a serious note, this came to mind recently, because it finally dawned on me that it’s a trick that’s been been played on me for years by an institute in Europe. Just when I’m sure I understand the rules and have a plan worked out, it’s changed, again, and again, and again – often on the spur of the moment, seemingly arbitrarily, even whimsically.

If it took the babysitter eight minutes to realize she couldn’t win (when we resigned ourselves to watching TV), it’s taken me about eight years, and a lifetime of faith before that. I’m like Charlie Brown with the football: he wants to believe Lucy is sincere in what she says, he tries to trust her, and he thinks it’s possible that this time, the football will stay right where it is for two seconds. And… (Surprise!?)

Two inconvenient traits I seem to have inherited: 1.) I tell the truth when I see a wrong; and 2.) I presume other people tell the truth, as well.

The babysitter didn’t leave in a cartoonish state of panic. She probably left rolling her eyes, and hoping Dad wouldn’t dock her grade if she never came back.

Like her, I left with the realization that the game has no steadfast rules to count on, rolling my eyes. But I feel completely certain Dad approves.