by Terri Wagner
I've never been big on April's Fool's Day, probably because I forget about it until someone, usually the radio reminds me. But my mother and brother are huge fans and work hard every year to top last year's. For so many years, I lived in my beloved adopted Virginia and didn't participate. My first year back in Alabama, my mother called me up on March 31st and said, "I'm coming down and we are going over to Baton Rouge to surprise your brother."
"Uh, sure," was my first reaction. It was a Saturday that year so no work conflicts (having never had to work, my mom doesn't really grasp the work concept). However, I had to take Chewbacca, my black lab. Dad was going on a boat trip. My mom doesn't really like dogs, and I had a small Cavalier at that time.
Just driving the 3 hours to my brother's house with a dog who likes to peer out the front and a mom who hates dogs was NOT amusing. Not to mention, the rest stops we had to take periodically, making that 3-hour trip something much longer.
Then uncertain of the new house's location, we sped past the turnoff. We stopped in this little country gas station/store to ask directions. I'm sitting in the car telling Chewie how sorry I was for all of this when my brother walks out of the store. I sit frozen for a moment, not sure what to do. Then I figure he can't see in my car and it's not an unusual car. He's hysterical. He obviously recognizes the car, but his brain says that can't be his sister. I’m thinking this is funner than I thought. Then Chewie pops his head up and there goes the surprise.
I wave him over, tell him why we're here and that his mother is in the store. So he goes in to surprise her just as she is coming out. Big blam with the screen door and then shouts of surprise on both their parts. He was there getting ice cream for cake (I'm thinking yum cake, makes the trip worthwhile). So then they decide to surprise his kids and wife.
I drive pass the house, park, take Chewie onto the front porch (which of course no one ever comes too) and ring the doorbell, sliding to the right side. Bert has his wife answer the door. She looks at this big black dog and squeals. Then mom and I jump out and yell April Fool's.
I made none of this up. They do this kind of thing every year. Wonder what they're up to this year.