Early evening in the Waffledome, and it is total fucking chaos, as usual. Homework is finished, but Lashes has decided that we must form a production line to make him paper fish for tomorrow, April Fools Day. Poisson d'avril, see. They stick paper fish on each other, for some reason. Don't get the fish thing? Nor me. It's not being French, I think. Lashes is wildly excited by April Fools, mysteriously. "It's a special day tomorrow" he told me reverently, when he got up this morning. We are going to Disneyland for the weekend on Saturday (oh yes, hipflask and benzodiazepines at the ready) and this has had no discernible effect. April Fools though? Frenzy. So, I am colouring, minutely, carefully, like a nutjob, making a particular effort to get realistic fin effects around the tails of all 300 fish. This is where most of my sanity has gone, off down tiny, pointless, labour intensive and perversely enjoyable tangents like this. I am very much enjoying it, actually. Fingers has ignored his instructions to join the paper fish sweatshop, because he still has some shred of free will and a steely resolve to get past level 4 of Tiny Wings. I have failed to interest either of them in Frau Antje's amazing amazing bird webcams so the three of us are talking about April Fools jokes. We have previously viewed both the spaghetti harvest, and the flying penguins, and are wondering how to catch their father out.
E: Hmmm. How about we tell him we've spotted a tortoise in, say, the school yard? And that it has a red III on the shell (NDLR: the CFO's tortoises are numbered for easy recognition)?
L: He won't believe that. The tortoises are inside.
E: Ok. Well. How about we tell him we've spotted a tortoise and we think it's Julius? He always suspected he wasn't actually dead and the vet just kept him.
F (looking up from Tiny Wings): Why?
E: Um. Well, the vet seemed to like Julius. And we never saw his body. So we wondered if he had perhaps kept him.
F (sagely): I didn't THINK you could die from a une maladie du zizi.
E: Wellll. I think you probably can, darling. But Julius just got an infection.
E: Uh, I don't know. Because of having an operation? There is a risk of infection. Not that you normally get an infection when you have an operation, not when you're a human. But maybe when you're a tortoise it's more risky? (Bad science, right here, right now, in my kitchen).
L: How can you cut into a tortoise? It has a shell.
E: They just .. well. They cut off the bit that was sticking out.
L: The tail?
F: No, the zizi.
E (shuddering): Yes. The zizi. It did sort of look like a tail though.
F: How did he pee when they cut it off?
E: I really have no idea. Maybe tortoises don't pee with their zizis.
F: Maybe the vet DID keep him!
E: I doubt it. He seemed a very nice man, I'm sure he wouldn't fake a tortoise's death. So. How about I say that Papa has to come into school because the two of you have tried to set fire to the canteen?
F (suddenly animated): We could tell him I drew on the wall again! And Lashes helped!
E: Erm, let's not, shall we. It was bad enough the first time.
So right now, we're stuck. Lashes is desperate for some good April Fools tricks and all he has is 300 paper fish (Fingers doesn't care. He mainly wants some tricks to get to Level 5 of Tiny Wings, but I'm not encouraging him). I am trying to come up with something a bit more entertaining. My friend Violet and her sisters always pull the most elaborate, wonderfully executed ones on their father. I can only remember one which involved a faked letter from Bill Oddie (who he hates with the heat of a thousand suns) coming to film some rare wildlife in their back garden. What were your best ones? Remember any? Any thoughts gratefully received.