Everybody hates me on April Fool’s Day.

To me, there is nothing more delightful than laughing, which is why I love practical jokes. Pulling them on others. It’s a one-way street. No one is allowed to pull them on me.

I’ll have to give you the backstory before I tell you about the first prank I ever played on my husband Funk.

The children I brought forth from my womb almost 40 years ago now were extremely demanding, and they wanted my attention not Funk’s. I was a mostly stay-at-home mom, and when they were infants especially, I remember feeling so overwhelmed about not having time to finish a thought.

After we finally got our firstborn down for the night, it became the sacred hour in our home.

I so needed time to myself that Funk and I did nothing that could possibly wake her. We took no phone calls. Had no one over. Didn’t watch TV.


Given my desperate need for solitude, Funk had no clue about the joke I was about to pull on him, one that I’d been planning for weeks.

I purchased a realistic looking life-sized rat and clear fishing wire, and one day, I rigged it up in the corner of the dining room, with the wire extending into the kitchen. After I finished rocking the baby for over an hour to get her to sleep, I went into the kitchen, and throwing caution to the wind, I started screaming at Funk that there was a rat in the dining room.

Funk, always thinking I’m exaggerating, and likely assuming the “rat” was just a little mouse, leisurely got up to take care of it.

But once he spotted the rat, all hell broke loose!

With spit flying from his lips, he shouted, “Gloria! That’s the biggest frigging rat I’ve ever seen, bring me the broom!” and then he dutifully stood guard while I searched for the broom, threw it at him, and ran back to the kitchen to pretend-hide in fear. At which time, I started pulling on the wire.

Instead of the rat crawling across the floor as planned, the wire got hooked on the leg of the dining room table and started climbing up the wall.

Startled, Funk jumped into action.

He starts beating the thing to death with the broom, the rubber rat jumping off the ground with each blow it took, which made my husband even more feverish. Next thing I know, he’s yelling at me to open the front door so he could steer it outside.

Which is when I lost it and started laughing hysterically, spoiling my own joke.

Here’s to you if you also risk almost anything, and just for a laugh. As soon as Funk realized what was happening, he looked at me as if I’d gone mad. I probably had, given I was a new mom and all. But it was all worth it. Then, because it broke up the monotony of young motherhood, and the baby didn’t even wake up! And now—all these years later—to recall the look on his face and die laughing all over again.

The Photo: Mr. Gullible. How is that even possible when he was an auditor for 30 years, and auditors can smell a rat 50 miles away?