11. A dead dog on a car bumper
In Florida in 2004, Paul Goobie decided to tie a dead Chihuahua—which he had found in the street—to the trunk of a car belonging to his co-worker as part of an April Fools’ Day joke. The co-worker, Kevin Meloy, happened to be deaf. Meloy dragged the dog for miles before he became aware of the creature’s presence. Many motorists tried to let Meloy know about the animal, but he was occupied with his driving—and also deaf, so honking didn’t get his attention. Goobie was charged with unlawful disposal of a dead animal, which is a second-degree misdemeanor. Apparently the prankster was inspired by the 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation.
12. A man convinces his wife he has committed suicide
Separations and divorce often lead to the exchange of harsh words, unfortunate actions, and generally unpleasant feelings. However, in 2004, Randy Wood decided to demonstrate his disdain for his ex-wife in a peculiarly cruel fashion on Aprils Fools’ Day—he convinced her that he had taken his own life.
He phoned his ex-wife and asked her to visit his home, claiming he had something important to show her. When she arrived, she found what appeared to be her husband’s lifeless body hanging from a tree in his front yard. Doing what any sane, compassionate person would do, she called the police and paramedics. Naturally, they responded immediately, only to find Mr. Wood perfectly healthy. He had managed to support his body weight with a lineman’s harness and was charged falsely reporting an incident. He ended up having to pay a fine.
13. An entire school staff ends up high on drugs
It is well known that teenagers like to dabble with substances, but ordinarily they don’t get their teachers high. Ian Walker and Joseph Tellini, both 18, decided to do just that. They decided to bake marijuana into muffins and give them as a “gift” to the staff of a Dallas-area high school at the end of the 2006 school year. To them, it probably seemed like a harmless prank, but 19 staff members ended up so ill that they ended up in the emergency room. One staff member, who had no prior experience with marijuana, claimed the muffins impacted her for over a week. The boys were charged with several felony counts of assault on a public service, but later accepted plea bargains and ended up paying restitution and volunteering their time to pay society back for their “prank”.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from this list, it is that pranks don’t pay. Both pranksters and their victims can be traumatized or worse. Find something else to do next Aprils Fools’ Day.