April Foolishness

Fool’s Errand No. One: I check my site statistics as if they were, like, I don’t know, like an obsession or something. I have accepted (provisionally) that I do want my work to be read, however, so my growing readership is interesting and possibly even significant, at least to me. So: my weekly page views are regularly hitting a previously too-ambitious target, and March was nearly 40% higher than my previous best month. Yay! Thanks for reading and recommending, folks. Subscription is an option. I’d like to hit a hundred.

(April is already muttering, with surly menace: Yeah, but what’ve you done lately? You better keep cranking, because if my numbers take a dump, then March don’t mean nothin. I think April is like the worst kind of sports fan. Or father.)

F.E. No. 2: I predicted exactly zero of the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. After the tournament Madness had been reduced to 16 teams, I tried again. I still only got one of the four teams right. Mind you, I was picking with a maple-syrup flavoured hockey puck for a brain, and maybe now that there are no Canadian players left in the Dance, I’ll be more rational, but I doubt it. I’ll be voting the ABK ticket: Anybody But Kentucky. Even if I lose, I win (sort of): my worst fears about the corruption of college hoops will be confirmed, and the sporting apocalypse will be one step closer. Yay!

And in other April Foolishness: The Fourth turns 14 in a few days, and has been pumped about gags he could pull on his stodgy, sticks-in-the-mud parental units. For several days there’s been, on our dining table, an upside-down cup with an unknown liquid trapped between the rim and the table’s surface. His giddy request that I clear it off the table alerted me to the trick, and maybe his mother noticed it, too. (Or maybe we just don’t tidy up often enough.) Now that I’m slightly in on it, I’m still a bit grumpy about such a juvenile scheme. On the other hand, I haven’t warned her. Clear conflict of interest.

Fourth chatters gaily (oops, another adjective bites the dust, but that’s pretty old news) happily about plastic wrap over the toilet bowl and other comedy gold. One of his favourite comedy websites/ways-to-flush-precious-time-and-attention-like-I-just-did sometimes has some stealth wisdom, isn’t routinely vulgar, but mostly gives him laughs and EMS fodder and too many devilish ideas. Perhaps I should’ve consulted with him. I could’ve pulled something on my Freshman Oral English students, the ones who’ll complete the last two years of their degrees in Canada, better than, By the way, I changed my mind. We’ll have the test now instead of waiting ‘til Thursday. But even if I did refuse to mention St. Patrick’s Day, I guess now I’ve done my loyal bit for, you know, Western Culture and all that. At least it was a joke that most of them got fairly quickly; most jokes require so much explanation that they’re dead on arrival. There was some relieved laughter, and a few kids were too wise to fall for it. I had figured chances were excellent that instead of the hoped-for surprised amusement, I’ll just alarm the hell out of them. But they got it. And Ms. Lou, man, I caught a blaze of anger on her face that was delicious, I have to admit. Coco Sun began lecturing me on ethics as I wrote “Apri–” on the board. (Yes, she calls herself “Coco”.)

After all his planning, though, Fourth woke up too sick to go to school on the Day of Hilarious Days. Well, I laughed. Did you try to fish anybody in on Poisson d’Avril, as the French say? (And say, how old are you, anyway?)

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