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Pop, the Practical Joker

Story ID:10408
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Dillon Montana USA
Year:1947
Person:My Pop
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Pop, the Practical Joker…
By Chuck Dishno
4/1/15

My Dad loved to play jokes on everyone and no one was immune. His favorite recipient though was my Grandmother, Etta. The best one he did was when he hid in her walk-in closet and blew on an old duck call. I wrote about it; see my story, #6900 The Duck Call.

April Fool’s Day was coming up and Etta knew she would be the recipient of one of Pop’s jokes. Etta didn’t mind and I think she looked forward to what he would pull this year. I don’t recall what he did but I am sure it had something to do with her many cats.

Etta was determined to pull an April Fool’s Joke on Pop this year. She asked me for my help in finding one that would really get him.
I went into Etta’s bedroom and as I was looking around, I spied an old fox fur complete with tail, feet, head, and eyes. It was about 30 inches long and the ladies would wear it around their neck to make them look fashionable. Grandma had had it for many years and it was really ratty looking with missing pieces of fur moth holes and one glass eye missing. Etta loved it though as it reminded her of the good old days. I asked if I could borrow it for the day and I would really fix Pop. She readily agreed, looking forward to getting her revenge.

Pop didn’t hate cats but he didn’t really like them that much and thought we had far too many. I guess he was right because we usually had one or two litters of kittens at one time. Pop’s only rule was that they had to stay on the back room/porch. When one would venture into the house and Pop saw it he would yell something that sounded like “Sahhh” then grin as the cat made tracks for the back door. I never saw him hurt a cat though and I think he secretly had a favorite that he would stroke and give an extra helping of fish guts when he returned from fishing.

Pop usually went to bed around 9pm and this April Fool’s Day was no exception. He always had the same routine in getting into bed. He would stretch, yawn and then pull the covers up as he stretches his legs out. What the didn’t know this day was that I had gone into his bedroom earlier and placed that fox fur about half way down the bed, just about where his bare feet would touch it.

The trick worked to perfection. Mom, Etta and I stood outside his bedroom door and listened to him go thru his usual routine. Then the great anticipated moment came. All of a sudden we heard Pop let out a yell and some expletives about that damned cat that got into his bed. It was even better than we expected. Pop hadn’t trimmed his toe nails in some time and as he jerked off the covers they caught in the sheet and ripped it open.

We then heard Pop getting out of bed and heading for the door. When he opened it we were all standing there yelling, “April Fool.” Pop knew he had been had and threw the “cat” at us and grinning from ear to ear. He said that that was the best April Fool’s trick that ever been pulled on him.

I can still picture Pop standing in the bedroom door in his long handle underwear with that fake cat in his hand. I know he was already planning what to do the next April.