April Fools, Schmapril Fools is what I have to say.
Whoever came up with this April Fools Day nonsense is a real knucklehead because this girl falls for such trickery as Redbox now planning to sell meat out of vending machines and headphones for kitties.
Fortunately, I survived this year without much embarrassment, although not without a good amount of stress and anxiety anticipating the next trap I just might fall into. But I've learned to keep my lips sealed when it comes to outrageous stories that could possibly be true (c'mon, cats could have a thing for beats) because one year I didn't and afterward I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide forever. Which doesn't feel fantastic.
There is a weekly community newspaper in the city where I work that circulates to local businesses in the area, but it is known throughout the region to publish an April Fools edition every year where the entire front page is full of made up stories that are just believable enough.
Once upon a time I was new to the area and not familiar with this tradition.
This was also the same time I started working for a New York State Senator dealing with various issues throughout her district including a nearly catastrophic dam break that really caused a lot of problems for one small community out in the country.
I mean, we had a huge file on this case. Property was damaged, property values were damaged, there was major construction that had to be completed, permits, and lawsuits and so much stuff. Needless to say, this was the topic of most conversations among my co-workers. Not me, though. I was the newbie. Instead I sat back and soaked in as much information as I could so I would know how to be helpful in the future.
April Fools week came just one month after I started. Lucky me. I walked into a local coffee shop for my morning brownie (don't judge) and read the most interesting article in the weekly paper there on the counter:
Beavers to rebuild the Hadlock Dam
I wonder if my co-workers know about this?! I thought to myself.
I was so excited that now, finally! I would have something to contribute to our discussions! So I skipped back to the office, burst through the door and shouted, "They're going to get beavers to rebuild the dam, isn't that incredible?!"
"Yeah, DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) is going to get a group of beavers to build a dam because, you know, beavers have been building dams for, like, EVER..."
More blank stares. I'm so embarrassed for old me right now. For some reason I still wasn't catching on that this would be the dumbest idea in the world.
"...and then the construction guys would just go in and build supports around the logs!! It's genius!"
With that, I made my contribution and then went back to working at my desk.
The best//worst part of this whole experience is that I didn't realize the paper had April Fooled me until months later. I probably had this same conversation with a dozen more people by then. And when I finally did get it too much time had gone by to go back to all those people to say, "Oh yeah, and that story about the beavers, I was totally joking. Ha. Ha."
Because there's only a teeny little window of time between is she for real? and ohmigosh she's serious where I could have redeemed myself, I missed it entirely and for a better part of 2006 there were a lot of people who probably got a good laugh out of that girl who thought New York State was going to let freaking beavers rebuild a million dollar dam.
I learned my lesson: keep mouth shut and verify facts. Always. All year. Just to be safe.