I’ve had an epic April Fools prank idea festering in my mind for years.
The idea stemmed from the mysterious way in which clothing items suddenly disappear or randomly show up again every time you do laundry. Sometimes you find things you’ve never seen before in your life.
One day—I believe it was three years ago, just after April Fools had passed—I noticed how easily one could hide a sock in the drier, on one of those little shelves that spin round. And I thought, wouldn’t it be funny to buy a bunch of outlandish green socks, hide them in the drier one by one, and drive my family slowly bonkers?
Well, when the next April Fools Day rolled around I was living far from home. Then last year, the pandemic suddenly descended upon us and I wasn’t sure where to acquire green socks in the middle of lockdown. For some reason I was convinced that they had to be green. Green, to me, seemed the perfect balance of very odd, but not a gendered color, or overly cartoonish.
(I should note, however, that on my podcast with Jenny I mentioned that I had a prank I’d been saving up for some time. This is the prank I was referring to.)
This year I was determined to finally pull it off, and so I planned ahead. I found a non-Amazon clothing website (we all share a Prime account) that sold green socks, and I bought five pairs, plus a few clothing items for myself and a birthday gift for Jenny. (Yep, I was aiming for that free shipping.) I ordered everything way in advance in case shipping took forever. And I didn’t let anyone watch me open the package because “some of it is gifts.”
Five pairs. Ten green socks in total, hidden away behind the bookshelf in my closet.
Then my plans began to unravel slightly. The joke is funnier when many people are using the same laundry facilities, but Matt and Phoebe left in March for an extended trip. Then Mom took a trip to California that extended over April Fools day.
Furthermore, I realized that there was no way to securely tie the joke to April 1. What if no one did laundry that day? And even if they did, I had ten socks to distribute. How could I possibly distribute ten socks in one day?
In this way, my vision for the prank morphed from being an April First Prank to being a Month Of April Prank. I waited until Mom got back, and I considered waiting until Matt and Phoebe got back too until I realized they weren’t coming back until May.
I planted my first sock on Monday, April 19. My idea was to stick a new sock in the drier every Monday and Friday. I’d chosen a good day to start, because we’d had guests over the weekend, further expanding the pool of who a random green sock might belong to.
But then, the anticipation started. My palms started to sweat whenever I saw someone folding laundry. Would they find the green sock? How would they react?
I should add that I had a whole plan for how to pull this prank without lying. I decided that when I put the sock in the drier, I was officially gifting it to whoever happened to find it. So when asked “is this your sock?” I could confidently say “no.”
But day after day passed, and no one seemed to find it. On Thursday, I was in my room completely lost in my own thoughts, when Amy knocked on my bedroom door. “Come in,” I said, and she opened the door and held up the sock.
“Do you have green socks?” she asked.
I was caught off guard. I’d so carefully crafted my response to “is this your sock,” but I was absolutely unprepared for “do you have green socks.” Because I did have green socks. Nine of them, in fact, behind the bookshelf in my closet.
But I needed a quick response, and I blurted out, “No, do you have green socks?”
“No,” said Amy, and she moved on without an ounce of suspicion.
I couldn’t believe I’d just straight-up lied. I never lie. I can only remember one other time in my life that I’ve told a bald-faced lie like that, when I was four years old. (Incidentally, that lie was also about socks.)
The next day I was cleaning my room, and I returned some books I’d borrowed from Amy. “That’s so weird about the green sock,” she said, as I stuck The Return of the King back on her bookshelf. “I called Alyssa, and she said it wasn’t hers either.”
“Weird!” I said, trying hard not to giggle. (Alyssa was her weekend guest.)
I was headed out on a quick overnight trip, and as I grabbed some snacks for the drive I saw that the green sock had been placed in the enamel bowl on the kitchen desk where we put mail and eggs.
I was just about ready to leave, but since it was Friday I wanted to quickly put another sock in the drier before I left. Unfortunately, the drier was full of Amy’s laundry. I wanted someone else to find a sock this time, so I buried it in a basket full of gray sheets that I was pretty sure belonged to Mom. And then I dashed out the door and zoomed away.
When I returned the next day, I peeped into the enamel bowl. There was a second sock now, this one stained slightly gray.
On Monday I put a third sock in the drier. I had a vague intention of doing my own laundry that day. I thought if the sock ended up in my laundry, that would make me seem less suspicious. But then I was busy doing other things, and after a while I heard the drier whirring. And the next day, when I looked in the enamel bowl, there was a third sock, stark and green.
Later, I was making tea when Mom walked into the kitchen. “did you hear that I found a third sock!?” she asked.
“What?” I exclaimed, trying to sound surprised.
“Yes! I washed a load of sheets, and fluffed them in the drier, and hung them out to dry, and brought them in again, and as I was bringing them inside a green sock fell out!!”
I tried to act appropriately weirded out, but I wasn’t sure what to say, so I asked if they could possibly be Dad’s socks. Mom held one up, small and neon green, and gave me the weirdest look. “Okay, never mind,” I said.
Then I took my tea upstairs and died with silent laughter. The most hilarious thing to me was that even though Mom was completely weirded out, she still didn’t seem remotely suspicious of me.
However, I started to realize that three socks was pushing the limit of the prank. Furthermore, April was almost over. I wanted to make it very obvious that the green socks were a prank, and I wanted Mom, Amy, and Jenny to figure it out at the same time.
So this was my plan: I’d stay up later than everyone else on Wednesday, and hide the socks in random weird places where hopefully, they’d be found before I got up in the morning. I had seven socks left, and this was my initial list of hiding places:
- In the dishwasher
- In Amy’s lunch box
- In Jenny’s mug
- In Mom’s laptop
- In the fridge with the limes
- In the chicken coop under a chicken
- I can’t quite think of a 7’th place
I was dubious about the limes, because I kind-of wanted them all to be discovered before I woke up, and who would reach for limes in the morning? So finally I decided to skip that idea. Instead, I’d wander downstairs in the morning wearing the last two green socks.
So Wednesday night I stayed up late and sneaked around planting socks in weird places. I couldn’t find Mom’s laptop, so I put a sock in her planner. I went out to the chicken shed and put a sock in a chicken nest. I stuck a sock in the dishwasher, and another inside Amy’s lunch box.
My most devious trick was with Jenny’s mug. We have a mug cupboard in the kitchen, but in the pantry by the coffee maker is a mug rack where Jenny likes to keep her favorite mugs. I swiped all of them but one and re-homed them in the mug cupboard. Then I rolled up the sock and placed it in the one mug left on the rack. Hopefully, that would induce Jenny to pick up this specific mug for her morning coffee.
Then I went to bed.
The next morning around 8:30 I got up, put on the last pair of green socks, and went into the kitchen. At first I was alone, but I guess Mom heard me get up because she came in very shortly. “It was YOU!!!!” she said the moment she saw me.
I laughed and gestured to my green-clad feet. “April fools!” I said.
Later, I could tell exactly when Jenny’s class let out because I heard her feet approaching my door. I made sure my stocking feet were very visible. She opened the door, all wound up to make an accusation, and then she saw my feet and burst out laughing.
Amy had already left for work, but from Mom and Jenny I was able to piece together how the morning had gone.
Jenny had come downstairs to get coffee and, seeing that there was only one mug in the rack thought, “welp, I guess I’ll have to use this mug that doesn’t microwave well.” So she picked it up and…what the bunnyslipper is this sock doing here?
Jenny’s immediate assumption was that Mom had taken one of the green socks from the enamel bowl and stuck it in her mug as a prank. But when Mom came along and Jenny showed her the sock, Mom was completely baffled. She whipped out her phone and sent a message to the group chat.
Amy came along then, and Mom accused her of pulling the prank. Of course Amy declared up and down that it wasn’t her, but Mom thought she was acting weird, and didn’t fully believe her.
Then Amy started to pack her lunch and…here was a green sock in her lunch box!
Then, just as they were collectively concluding that I was the culprit, Amy opened the dishwasher and there was another sock! Gales of laughter all around.
In that way the prank went exactly as I’d hoped it would. The added bonus, of course, was the way they all accused each other. That was completely unplanned by me, LOL.
My only regret is that Mom didn’t find the ones I’d hidden specifically for her. I spoiled the planner one by asking if she’d found it, assuming she had, when she actually hadn’t. That one was whatever, but my true disappointment was the chicken shed one. I’d taken great delight in the thought of Mom reaching under a chicken, feeling around for a warm egg, and finding a green sock. I was unaware that Dad has taken over the morning chicken duties. He found the sock of course, but was unfazed. “My girls must have put it there for some reason,” he thought.
Overall though, I’d say my sock prank was a success. The funniest part to me was the way Amy and Mom talked to me about finding these socks. Even though the socks were a completely outlandish green, something none of us would ever wear, neither of them remotely suspected that this was a prank until I started putting socks in mugs and such. So I had lots of delightful moments giggling to myself and my diary.
You may feel free to steal this prank and perform it on your own family. Or you can take it to the next level and sneak into someone else’s house to leave socks in their drier. Tee hee.
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