How do I do a prank?

Dear Winnie,

I’m not very funny and I don’t understand how jokes work, so instead I was thinking of pulling an April Fool’s Day prank. What would you suggest?


Dear Reader,

April Fool’s Day has a long history of people inconveniencing their friends and family while exploiting their trust to a point beyond repair. It is a wonderful tradition. The very first April Fool’s day dates back to biblical times when Roman soldiers crucified the son of God, stuck him behind a rock, giggled, and then three days later could not find his body. The Roman soldiers who lost the body said, “Oh yes, we meant to do this, this was a funny holiday prank”, and his mom, Mary, who had to give birth without ever getting to have sex, was like, “Yeah, it’s fine, no, really it’s fine, it’s funny, it was a good prank. You fooled me.”

If you know a virgin with a son who plans on martyring himself, just copy the Romans, because as everybody knows, imitation is the sincerest form of murder. If you don’t know anyone who matches this description, you should know it is impossible to make a joke as funny as this one ever again. If you insist on trying, do this:

Call your mother. Tell her you got into med school. Tell her you’re going to be a doctor. Spend the next four years telling her how med school is going. Learn Adobe Photoshop and put your skills to the test. Create several fake Facebook accounts of friends from med school. Have those accounts make lewd comments on your profile pictures to which your mother will have stern talks with you about later. Say they were just joshing around. Ask her if she gets it, because you know like, three Joshes. Wait until she responds and ask her if she gets it again.

Tell your parents when and where the commencement ceremony is going to happen, and when they show up act all humble-like. Introduce them to a prostitute but call her your girlfriend. Afterwards, tell her to think about going to med school and turning her life around. Once at the commencement, forge your parents’ tickets, but have them have to sit apart so it’s believable. If your parents are divorced, tell your stepfather Gerry and stepmother Ashley that they should just wait in their cars. And don’t you dare apologize.

Sneak backstage at the commencement. Now comes the tricky part. Whoever the celebrity speaker is, distract them. If it’s Meryl Streep, tell her Shonda Rhimes sent her a script for her transition to TV. If it’s Matthew McConaughey just bring a laser pointer or maybe some garbage.

Put on their robe while they’re occupied with their new toy. Before you go onstage, look at yourself in the mirror. This is your day. The person who introduces you will be confused, so look confident to throw them off. Look like Hillary Clinton on November 7, 2016.

Speak into the microphone and say, “Well, Med school has been a lot like my taxes; I didn’t do either of them.” Then yell “Suck it Mom, you got PRANKED!!!”

At this point, your parents will probably have fainted, so attend to them in the crowd since you’re a good son. When they come to, tell them how much everyone else laughed. Tell them that April fool’s only comes once a year. Roll your eyes when your father says that it is June.

Wave your parents off. You did a good job. You may not have become a doctor, but you did give them the best medicine: you got their heart rate up for 30 minutes. It’s over now, though, and you’re still not a doctor. So call the prostitute. Ask her for an interview with her Madame. Tell her you know Photoshop. But the kicker—you don’t tell your mom!

Of course, if you’d prefer to put Saran wrap on a toilet seat, be my guest. But know that you don’t have to. For once, if you wanted, you could’ve shot for the stars.


Winnie Code