The Sharp Firm - April 2020

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APRIL 2020

My Best April Fools’ Pranks Even in Dark Times, Keep Laughing

Because of the pandemic and its associated fears, April Fools’ Day might be the last thing on your mind right now. But personally, with the courthouses closed and more and more people huddled inside, I’m looking for levity anywhere I can find it! Remembering these April Fools’ pranks from years past got me chuckling, so I hope it does the same for you. Early Experiments in Pranking Even though I’m a serious lawyer, I’m also a bit of a prankster when the occasion warrants it. April Fools’ is definitely one of those occasions, but when I was a kid, just about any day would do! My little sister was my favorite target for practical jokes because she was so easy to fool. I took full advantage of that — which sometimes included taking things a bit too far. The best (and worst) prank I ever played on my sister happened when she was 8 years old. I found a rabbit skin and had the brilliant idea to tell her that Peter Rabbit was dead and there wouldn’t be any more Easter eggs. I really went all-in to make it convincing, even getting my brother onboard. To say she was heartbroken would be an understatement. My mother wasn’t happy when she found out I’d been waving a dead rabbit skin in my sister’s face! I got in real trouble for that one, and I actually still feel bad about it.

These days, the pranks I play on my sister are sillier than anything else. Last Christmas, for example, I spread her gift out over seven boxes. Six of them had random things inside, like Kleenex, a hard salami, and a box of cookies, but the last one was a nice piece of jewelry, so she was happy as well as annoyed. Now, my wife, Laura, gets the brunt of my pranking on April Fools’ Day! I make an attempt every year, but there were two years in particular that I really got her. The WordPerfect Buyout As some of you may know, Laura is a nut for the writing software system WordPerfect, which is basically an early ancestor of Microsoft Word. It’s a dinosaur at this point, but a lot of lawyers still like to use it, and Laura is one of them. With that in mind, I dropped the bomb one April Fools’ morning that Microsoft had bought out WordPerfect, and they were canceling it! Laura fell for it hook, line, and sinker, and she was not happy. I let her freak out for a minute, then said, “April Fools’!” with a big grin on my face. My Best Prank Ever: Backing the Browns I played this prank a couple of April Fools’ Days back, and it’s still the funniest one to date. To understand how I got away with it, you need to know that Laura isn’t a sports fan, and I’m into sports, and so are a lot of my friends.

My friend Dan is a Cleveland Browns fan, and Laura knew it. So one April Fools’ Day, I told her that when the Browns inevitably made the Superbowl that year, I promised Dan I would go with him and we’d be going all out — fancy hotel, limo to the game, the whole nine yards — to the tune of $10,000 a piece. Laura blew a gasket because of the way I said it, and I just let her yell at me for about 15 minutes before I walked away and broke down laughing. When I got it together, I told her to check the Vegas odds on the Browns making the Superbowl — they’re about 10,000 to 1! For some reason, she didn’t get nearly as big of a kick out of that as I did. Even with everything that’s been going on, I still pulled an April Fools’ Day prank on Laura this year — but how that went is a story for another day!

“Laura blew a gasket because of the way I said it, and I just let her yell at me for about 15 minutes before I walked away and broke down laughing.”

-Lance Sharp

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