Our daughter got accepted to Chore Camp!

design, family, good laughs, inspiration

[NOTE TO READERS: I’m re-posting this from four years ago because it still makes me laugh. If you missed it then, enjoy.]

There’s a lot of excitement around our house as our daughter received her acceptance letter to Chore Camp! We submitted her application a few months ago and have been waiting for the mail every day to see if her acceptance letter had arrived. Finally it came today. Here’s what it looks like:

just in time — this year’s April Fool’s prank

family, good laughs

I dunno about you but between the Supreme Court ruling on health care reform, tax season and the debate on copyright issues all over Facebook and the blogosphere, I’m in need of a little levity.

If you’re somewhat new to this blog, you may not realize that April Fool’s Day to our daughter ranks right up there with Christmas and birthdays in terms of required planning and excitement. As a parent charged with the responsibility for coming up with each year’s prank I feel not a small amount of pressure to deliver something memorable.

Bill, who has little sense of time, is our primary target because he never even sees it coming. I usually save a good one for our daughter too. You may remember that two years ago I arranged to have our daughter “accepted” into Chore Camp. That was awesome! Last year she received a permission slip from her school for a field trip to outer space. Then of course there’s my M&M bag trick, of which I’m very proud.

This year I present for your consideration– drumroll please — the toothpaste-filled Oreo. Easy to execute, cheap, convincing and with just the right amount of “Yuck!” Make sure that both sides of the Oreo are in one piece (no cracks). Gently pull the cookies apart. Scrap off the filling and replace it with the same amount of white toothpaste.

You will want to be present for this prank to ensure that the prankee doesn’t swallow the toothpaste. It should be obvious that it’s toothpaste but better safe than sorry.

As for our daughter, she’ll be heading to a Palm Sunday choir performance on the morning of April Fool’s (Sunday) so I’m thinking of something that’s fast, yet funny. Right now I’m leaning toward replacing all of the milk in the container with whipped cream so it looks like milk but doesn’t pour. I figure that if I get a skirt can of whipped cream I could aim it inside the milk container and just let ‘er rip. Then, of course, there will be the obligatory replacement of the underwear in Bill’s drawer with 10-year-old girl’s underwear because some pranks never get old.

a time to cry, a time to laugh

design, good laughs, inspiration

Longtime readers of Craft Nectar know that I pretty much live for pranks and practical jokes. The more elaborate the better. This year, however, it’s really hard for me to be thinking about April Fool’s pranks given the images I see coming out of Japan. Honestly, I know I should move on with my life but it feels really heartless to do so as I try to process what is happening to the country I called home for so many years. In future posts, I’ll write about other ways to help because the need will be great long after you’ve stopped hearing about it on the news.

In the meantime, the days on the calendar are flying by and I’m realizing that I will break our daughter’s little 9-year-old heart if I don’t pull myself together for a solid performance in the April Fool’s prank department. And in fact, this is not the first time I’ll be using humor as a mood-altering gesture.

When the atmosphere in my graduate school program felt especially toxic I thought (because I am nothing if not a creative thinker) “I could quit and return to investment banking or I could anonymously hire someone to run between classes through the studio¬† in a gorilla costume just to change the environment for a moment.” I went with the gorilla. It was $25 well spent and was the turning point for me knowing that I didn’t have to succumb to a bad environment. I had a good laugh and I got back to work with a new attitude.

My rule about pranks is that they can never been mean-spirited or genuinely scary. I once saw an episode of Punk’d in which they repossessed Justin Timberlake’s home and confiscated his dogs. I was with them until they told him that they took his dogs and that’s when they lost me. No heartless pet pranks.

Last year, you may remember that I built upon a really good prank at Family Fun.com. I sent my daughter an acceptance letter to Chore Camp along with the very-convincing brochure produced by Family Fun. So in trying to get some ideas for this year I checked out their website and found a similar idea that I can build upon for this year.

This year’s prank involves a permission slip for field trip to outer space. Family Fun has the .pdf you can download and I’m including below the text of the cover letter that I’ve written and will include in the envelope with the permission slip. I’ll slip it in with the mail on April 1.

My particular brand of prank-pulling involves details to make it very plausible. I’ve copied her school’s letterhead and signed the letter from the principal. I’ve included details that are unique to her school so if you plan to copy this text, feel free to insert details that would be pertinent to your child’s school.

I realize that right about now you’re thinking “I thought she had deadlines? Quilts to be making? Workshops to be teaching? Books to be writing? Fabric to be designing?” Yes, of course, you would be correct but for everything there is a season indeed. April 1 is a gift to us all. Don’t let it go to waste.

Here’s the link to the Family Fun space trip permission slip.

Here’s my letter:

Dear _____________________,

I am excited to notify you that you have qualified for a new program at XXXXX School. We know that you have taken many field trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum and many other locations in the Chicago area. Based on your grades and good behavior at school you have been selected for a special field trip to Outer Space.

Mr. K will be coordinating students from the 4th and 5th grades based on their ISAT scores and the number of WOW slips that they have received this year. Your trip will last two weeks and you will be expected to complete all assignments and homework during the flight. Mr. K has received training from NASA to operate the space ship but alien drivers will guide the space ship in each galaxie. Competent aliens in each galaxie will also chaperone the children. Students will make stops in other galaxies, so please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers. Students are asked to bring a sack lunch but not to bring money on the field trip as the space ship has been carefully calibrated for weight for a successful blast-off.

Parents are asked to sign the attached permission slip for participation in the Outer Space program.

Please contact me if you have any questions.