The Dancer in the Shadows

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Why I Have No Appreciation For Today

Today is the first of April, commonly known as "April Fool's Day".

As a very young child, I played many a prank and was the target of at least as many pranks, all in good fun.  Then one April first morning, I woke to find small red dots all over my younger brother.  T'was an unusual April first as this time I didn't remember it was the first of April on waking.  I didn't even consider that my brother might have set up a prank the night before, and woke Mom to tell her about the red spots.

Initially she thought it was just another April Fool's prank and simply ignored us.  Eventually, she 'humored' me because I would not let up.  When I didn't finally shout, "April Fool!" she assumed it was my brother pulling the prank and he had caught me, but he never piped up either.  This finally led to Mom trying to wash some of the spots off; it didn't work.  Several variations later, the spots still remained and she bluntly asked what we used to put the spots on.  My brother and I looked at her and each other cluelessly.  Finally she said something to the effect of, "Great April Fool's prank, but it's time to give it up."  We both said this wasn't and we hadn't even remembered the day.  This was when Mom finally took us seriously and called to see if the doctor could see my brother today.

It turned out that the red spots were a symptom of Scarlet fever; an infection that, while not normally fatal on its own anymore, if left untreated can cause other complications such as a weakened heart.  We caught it in time, and my brother, to the best of our knowledge over thirty years later, has no complications from it.  However, since that day, I no longer have an appreciation for April Fool's Day pranks, and on the rare occasion someone close to me who already knows about this does try to pull such a prank on me, I am insulted by it.  I have also quit a job in the past because the company owner insisted on yearly pranks from everyone.

--- The Dancer in the Shadows

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