Toast(ed)

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As promised, a blog dedicated to Champagne Concoctions…

Like many of you, I love champagne. I love the triumphant pop of the cork, the festive fizz, the easily overflowing glasses and, of course, the bubbles… anyone who follows my blog knows I have a fondness for bubbles.

Not only is champagne fun to drink but it’s a lot like a celebration in a glass. Even if you have nothing in particular to celebrate, it makes you feel like you do and there’s nothing wrong with that. And while I have no problem drinking champagne straight up (and occasionally with a straw); it’s always fun to get creative. So add whatever you like but here’s a breakdown of what I consider some highly successful and yummy creative champagne concoctions.

Popular Concoctions: These are some champagne fan favorites. For those of us who love champagne (me!!) or just simply don’t like beer (me too!!), these creative, festive drinks are especially fun. There seem to be many variations and new versions get added each New Year, but here’s a brief list of my all-time favorite favorites. If you haven’t tried one of these yet, I suggest you get started!

  1. Poinsettia: Chilled champagne, about 3 oz cranberry juice (or POM is also yummy), splash of triple sec or Cointreau. I’ve also heard a variation of this called a Pretty Woman (maybe because if you drink too many, you might end up in a bandeau tube dress in Richard Gere’s hotel room?)
  2. Bellini: 2 oz peach juice or puree, 4 oz champagne (the colder the better so might I suggest pre-freezing the peach juice in ice cube trays)
  3. Frozen Bikini: Add 2 oz vodka, 2 oz peach Schnapps,   3 oz peach nectar, 2 oz OJ, splash of lemon juice to a chilled glass, then fill the rest of the way with chilled champagne. Drop in a strawberry if you’re feeling especially sassy.
  4. New York City (AKA: Metro): 4 oz chilled champagne, 1 oz Vodka, splash lime juice, splash Cointreau, splash cranberry juice. You’ll be singing New York, New York in no time.
  5. Blushing Bride: Chilled champagne, Peach Schnapps, Grenadine

Nameless (and faceless) Concoctions: Here’s a list of concoctions I’ve come up with on my own over the years, although (since everything old is new again) others have probably concocted the same or similar versions. Fair Warning: These are simple but dangerous!

  1. Equal parts X-Rated Fusion Liquor (it’s pink and sort of tastes like pink grapefruit juice) and pink champagne (Barefoot Bubbly is my fave).
  2. Champagne with just a splash of grenadine (or any cherry syrup) and a lime twist (or squirt of lime juice if you don’t feel like twisting). I almost always love the taste of lime and cherry mixed together.
  3. Champagne Jell-O Shots: These are popular and there are a ton of different recipes available. Here’s mine: Add 1-six ounce box Jell-O (any flavor, I like strawberry if you want to use pink champagne or grape if you want to use white champagne) to 2 cups boiling water (stir till dissolved), add 2 cups cold champagne (pink or white). I use a turkey baster to divide the concoction into tiny cups (I use thin plastic cups or I double up paper cups which can be found at any party store). Chill to set. Note #1: For stronger shots, add just 1 cup of boiling water, then add an extra cup of champagne once solution dissolves. Note #2: I also make a mean margarita Jell-O shot but I’m saving it for Cinco de Mayo… though since it’s green, maybe I’ll post for St. Patrick’s Day.
  4. Chilled champagne is perfect all alone but I like to add fruit (grapes or strawberries are perfect additions) and even a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to make simple champagne even better! Fruit is good for you!
  5. Raspberry (or any fruit flavored) vodka and champagne (I don’t measure when I do this, but if I did it would probably be about a 1:2 ratio, give or take). So easy… so go easy.

Champagne Punch: Great for parties of 2 or more! This is a sampling of awesome punches I’ve discovered along the way. Bust out your fancy punch bowl (or perhaps a less risky shatter-proof Tupperware or basic plastic bowl if your parties tend to get wild) and get to spiking!

  1. Classic Champagne Punch: 2 liter bottle of ginger ale, bottle of champagne, container of orange sherbet  (empty contents into bowl, serve)
  2. Pink Punch: 1 bottle pink champagne, 2 containers frozen pink lemonade concentrate, 2 containers frozen cranberry or fruit juice concentrate, 1 bottle chilled red wine, 1 quart chilled club soda, ice cubes
  3. Hawaiian Punch: 2 liter bottle Hawaiian Punch, 2 cups Malibu Rum, 1 cup Southern Comfort, 1 bottle champagne, 2 liter bottle Pineapple soda, jar of maraschino cherries, 1 bag frozen pineapple (cubed), ice cubes (Note: coconut shell bikini and grass skirt optional)
  4. Sucker Punch: 1 bottle champagne, 1 cup vodka (vanilla is nice in this), 1 cup tequila, 1 cup rum, 2 cups peach Schnapps (sucker!!), 1 can frozen OJ, 1 can frozen pineapple juice, 1 can frozen cranberry juice, 2 liters tonic water, ice, (add club soda if the punch tastes too sweet)
  5. Margarita Punch: 1 bottle champagne, 4 cups clear tequila, 4 cups triple sec, 1 bottle of either lime margarita mix or sweet n sour mix, 2 liters lemon lime soda, 1 cup Agave Nectar (if available), 1 cup lime juice, 4 limes (sliced and quartered), crushed ice, (serve in margarita glasses with salted or sugared rims as an option)

Champagne Floats: Add a scoop of frozen, mashed, sliced or diced strawberries, peaches, pineapples, grapes or berries to champagne and it’s almost like a delicious, nutritious, fizzy dessert! Prep the fruit in advance, store in freezer bags and keep frozen till needed. It’s also fun to add a spoonful of sorbet (any flavor, I like raspberry) or water ice (for yews Philly folks) to a glass of your favorite bubbly (kind of like a party punch but for a party of one).

“My-mosas”: Who doesn’t love mimosas? I know I do. I often joke with my brunch buddies and say they should be called “moremosas” because I like them so much. Occasionally, instead of adding OJ to champagne, I like to add any one of the following: mango nectar (it’s thick so just a splash will do!), Welch’s grape juice (it’s like grape soda, only better!), V-8 Splash (why not drink your veggies?), cranberry juice (yummy, festive and good for the kidneys!).

Born Again Virgins: Non-alcoholic “champagne” concoctions can be made by substituting the champagne for anything fizzy (i.e., tonic water, ginger ale, sparking grape juice). I call these Born Again Virgins. When I host a party, I like to serve both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options so everyone can join in on the fun. It’s a nice way to include your designated drivers, people who can’t or don’t choose to drink, pregnant and nursing women and even kids/teens. Remember: You don’t need alcohol to have fun!

If you come up with or come across new yummy champagne or mock-champagne concoctions or cocktails, please share them by leaving a comment. I’d love to add more bubbly fun to my list.

Most importantly, please be safe and responsible! If you’re going to drink, I suggest doing so in the safety and comfort of your own home and/or with friends or family whom you trust to take care of you. If you’re going to be out and about, it’s always a good idea to select a designated driver in advance and leave your car keys at home. If you (or your friends) aren’t fit to drive but need to get from here to there, please call a cab, a friend or ask someone who hasn’t been drinking to help. Don’t drink and drive. You know better!

AAA offers a wonderful FREE service called Tipsy Tow for folks needing a ride home. You don’t need to be a member; simply call 1-800-AAA-HELP between 6pm on 12/31 and 6am on 1/1 and they will come get you. That’s sure to save lives. Thank you, AAA!

Have fun and be safe!

Here’s to you! Happy New Year!

Have you ever seen a cow riding a bicycle?

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Well I have and it was awesome.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays (3rd favorite to be exact). And ever since way back when I was a kid, I’ve always loved getting dressed up for it, typically alternating clever and disturbing costumes year after year.

Against his will, I usually “urge” my husband to dress up too. In fact throughout our relationship, I’ve tortured him with one awful costume after the next. He claims he hates it. But I don’t believe him since he almost always gives in to whatever I want. One year, I made him dress up like a turd. Yep. It was a group theme. I made the costumes myself. Corn and all. He was a good sport about it… even though it was a little shitty of me. Another year, we were simply ketchup and mustard. He said “no” at first but eventually he agreed and there we were, two condiments at a New York City bar together. He even let me be mustard. That’s love. But he drew the line the year I wanted him to dress up like a vampire. I didn’t see the big deal, really. Honestly he was fine with it until I admitted I planned to dress as a tampon.

Whether I’ve been single, half of a couple or part of a group, I’ve always had fun on Halloween. But being a mom at Halloween is the greatest. Playing dress up with my daughter is so much fun. And rather than simply play dress up once, I get to do four straight days of Halloween festivities with her this year. She and I have already been trick or treating twice in two different towns and it’s not even the 31st yet. If you ask me, that’s pretty awesome.

She’s being a cow for Halloween this year. It seemed fitting since we’ve seen plenty of real cows since moo-ving to Iowa. Like most 2-year-olds, she loves mooing back at them. But she is by far the cutest cow I’ve ever seen!

Today, I put my little cow in her child seat and we went for a bike ride together through town. That was a first! I mean, have you ever seen a cow on a bicycle? I would (probably) never have done that in New York City. But it was great! And you know what? She had a blast being a cow on a bicycle.

Admittedly since Lyla entered our lives, I’ve focused more energy on her costumes than mine or my husband’s. Last year, I didn’t even bother getting dressed up. My husband was stoked when he learned he didn’t have to get dressed up either. Instead, I focused all my creative energy on our daughter. She was a strawberry. Simple enough. But. Cutest. Strawberry. Ever!

My husband doesn’t know it yet but this year, we’ll be making a soft comeback as a family. To expand upon our daughter’s costume, all three of us will be dressing as cows tomorrow night at his parents’ Halloween party.

It’ll be our first Halloween together as a family in Iowa. I can’t skip this one!

But rather than make him dress from head to toe in plush cow apparel like our daughter, I’m simply giving him a button that says “Moo” and a hat that says, “More cowbell!” So yes, I’m going easy on him. But next year… well, that’s a surprise… but if he thought being a vampire was bad!

Tomorrow night, I’ll be wearing a hat that says “I love cows.” And although I’ve never put much thought into that before, this year I know it’s true. If my husband and my daughter are cows, then I must love cows.

Together as a family we plan to party till the cows come home… but really we’re already home so I guess we’ll just party till our little cow needs her nap.

Happy Halloween!

You’re It

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My husband and I made a trip to the DMV yesterday.

That’s never fun… right?

Well I wasn’t looking forward to it. That’s for sure. But we’d put it off long enough. Finally, after (practically) receiving death threats from the New York DMV, we gave in and got our vehicles registered in Iowa (a task we should have done much sooner but our titles had been lost in the seemingly bottomless abyss of boxes still stacked in the garage from our not-so-recent relocation).

Not only was it kind of hard to part with my New York plates (silly, I know), but who wants to spend a day at the DMV? Last I checked it still wasn’t the happiest place on earth. In fact, it’s usually the opposite of that.

But if you were at the Mills County, Iowa DMV yesterday, you wouldn’t have known it by looking at my kid. Nope.

She was as happy as could be, skipping and hopping and having a grand time running up to random people (as if there’s any other kind at the DMV), smiling and joyfully shouting “I see you!!!”

Yes, she was playing Hide ‘n Seek. And, perhaps by default, the people at the DMV ended up playing Hide ‘n Seek too because a 2-year-old reminded them that it was OK to do so. I was amazed how she so easily transformed one of the most hated places on earth into a magical, whimsical playland in a matter of minutes. She actually managed to make it fun.

It was wonderful to see complete strangers playing along. Some were DMV employees, while others were patrons waiting their turn or simply passers-by. Some were far more serious than others. A few were dressed in business suits, possibly on their way to the court house. They certainly weren’t dressed for play time. They had other things on their minds. But eventually everyone gave in and played. It was nice. A little odd at first but nice.

In fact it rather quickly turned into Play Day at the DMV. Everyone participated. My daughter saw to it that no one was left out. That’s for sure. People, both children and adults, were peek-a-booing at one another playfully. It made it so, for the first time in my whole life, not only did I enjoy my time spent at the DMV but I didn’t want to leave. Have you ever truthfully (and without sarcasm) been able to say that?

Children are wonderful, aren’t they? Who else could make the DMV fun? If an adult had done what my daughter did today, he or she would have likely been arrested or shot with a tranquilizer dart or something. OK, maybe that’s extreme. But certainly they would have received strange looks and maybe even a twirly-finger-around-the-ear type gesture or two.

Perhaps it’s simply impossible to stay serious when approached by a child, smiling from ear to ear with sweet, inviting “let’s play!” eyes and a face beaming with innocence and excitement.

And, really, what better place for an impromptu game of Hide ‘n Seek than at the DMV? Seriously, I can’t think of one… can you?

Granted, the Iowa DMV is nothing like the New York DMV. Sure, they do the same things. But, for example, my husband and I were first and second in line to have our cars registered. Crazy, huh? Even crazier? It’s a holiday week!

In the past, we’ve waited hours (and not just the minimal quantity of hours to technically qualify as the plural form of the word hour but an actual # of hours long enough to fully cultivate an urge to stab yourself in the eye). New York DMVs have serpentines and electronic number machines and dozens upon dozens of lines, each one with a separate function, and hundreds of rows of chairs full of people who honestly look like they’d been waiting for days, weeks, months maybe. My husband and I once waited for over 4 hours only to be told we were in the wrong line and then had to start over. And it smells there! No, not like cookies. And you wait so long that you inevitably become numb to that smell, then eventually you become that smell.

Here in Iowa, like I said, we were first and second in line. I can prove it too. Our license plates are literally one number apart. Weird, huh? I would post pictures but I’m not sure what the rules of identity theft would say about that (and I’m too lazy to look it up). So you’ll have to take my word.

Even weirder? The people there are nice! They gave my daughter a lollipop. Sure, banks do that all the time… but the DMV? Really? And I feel confident that had I asked, they’d have given me one too. The only thing I’ve ever gotten at the NY DMV was a headache and a receipt.

Not to bag on New York. I have huge love for the state and the city, the people (even those at the DMV) included. I’m just saying that maybe, just maybe, they would benefit from an impromptu game of Hide ‘n Seek. Or maybe Tag is more their speed?

Do you remember how wonderful it was to play games like Hide ‘n Seek and Tag? I loved both, especially Tag though I hated being “It.” I still do.

Sometimes I too want to run up to a random friendly face, smile and say “I see you!!” I would like it if someone (preferably not a violent lunatic with a knife) did that for me. But it’s nice being seen. Isn’t it? Who wants to be invisible? Maybe for a moment but not forever.

Or simply tag them “It” so I don’t have to be “It” anymore. Sometimes I need a break from being “It” all the time. I’m sure it’s not just me. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe you and I could share a laugh and frolic together instead for a moment, letting go of the stress of the day. It might be nice to share “It” – whatever “It” is with someone else rather than struggling with “It” or through “It” on our own, or keeping “It” buried inside. The burden of “It” can be a big one. “It” isn’t always easy. Is it? But if we share “It” maybe the burden of “It” will become easier to bare.

Maybe it’s not appropriate in everyday life to break into Hide ‘n Seek or Tag or any other childhood game. Red Rover, maybe? Nah, probably not. After all, we are grownups and we have very serious matters to attend to. We don’t have the time for silly childish things like games or recess or naps.

Well that’s too bad.

But wouldn’t it be great?

Check that. It is great. Life. Who says we have to be so serious all the time? You’re not the boss of me. Saw that one coming, didn’t ya?

I think children have it right. The world doesn’t always have to be such a serious, uptight, stressful place. After all, it’s full of butterflies and daisies and kittens. I want to laugh and be silly, frolic (yes, frolic! what? you don’t frolic?) and have fun. I want to enjoy this moment while we’re in it.

I bet you do too.

So tag! You’re It!!

Bubbles

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If you ever find yourself depressed, sad, lonely, irritated, bummed, unhappy, bored or any of the other negatives, I highly suggest buying a bubble machine.

I recently purchased one for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. I bought it on Amazon for $36, free shipping, bubbles not included. It was a huge hit at her party and although her birthday has come and gone, we still use it all the time.

I know what you’re thinking… and you’re right. The bubble machine was more a gift for me than for her. True. But she really does love bubbles (almost) as much as I do. I simply wanted to entertain her and see her smile. Her smile makes me happier than anything else in the whole world… even happier than bubbles. And since one of my jobs as her mommy is to make her smile, I decided to buy a bubble machine. So, really, it was an investment. I promise it makes perfect sense when you think about it. But don’t think about it too long.

Sure, I could’ve bought yet another bottle of bubbles with yet another simple bubble wand, but I like to think outside the box. Our new bubble machine makes more bubbles in less time than I could ever possibly blow myself. And yes I said “blow myself.” Take a moment… Breathe through it…

OK, now once you move beyond that, you will see the point I’ve been trying to make is that more bubbles mean more smiles. And to this work from home mommy, more smiles mean everything!

In the interest of entertaining our children, we mommies (and daddies) do the strangest things. But isn’t it also in the interest of entertaining ourselves? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Being happy is important. We should do something each and every day to make ourselves and the ones we love happy.

If you’re like me, many things make you happy. Bubbles are just one (or a million) of those things. I love bubbles. You do too, right? I mean, who doesn’t?

I once told my dad that I love bubbles and he replied, “I once met a stripper named Bubbles.” I love him. My dad, not the stripper. And I am simply assuming the Bubbles in my dad’s story was/is a woman, but then I wasn’t the one who met Bubbles the Stripper and I didn’t think to ask. I’m not even 100% sure that Bubbles the Stripper really exists but if he/she does, I bet he/she is/was a very nice person. I think with a name like Bubbles he/she would have to be.

I challenge you to try to walk through a sea of beautiful bubbles (actual bubbles, not a sea of strippers – although depending on your point of view I guess that could be fun too) without smiling. It’s hard to do, maybe even impossible. And smiling is good for you. It feels good too. Doesn’t it?

Lyla and I will be having our lunch outside today. I will fill up and turn on the bubble machine. As we enjoy our time together, there will be bubbles in the background, up above and all around us. There will be bubbles floating high in the sky, up over the trees, down the street and off into town. It will be magical. People will look up and see bubbles floating and drifting everywhere, smile and wonder, “Where did those bubbles come from?”

Some agitated souls may get irritated as the bubbles pop on their newly washed cars or cause them to have to clean their windows and sunglasses. Those people need the bubbles even more than the rest of us. I am doing them a favor.

A few of the highly curious will follow the trail of bubbles to our house, where they will find us giggling and dancing and popping bubbles with our noses. I will invite them to join us. And they will because people who follow floating bubbles do so for a reason. They want to participate in the bubble festivities. They want to join in on the foamy fun. They want to take a moment and forget the stresses in their lives and the worries which have been weighing them down. They want to focus, if only for a moment, on nothing but bubbles and smile and laugh instead. They want to be happy. I may even manage to convince someone to pretend to be a fish swimming and eating the bubbles. Lyla loves when I do that. I (secretly) love it too. It makes us both happy.

On that note, bubbles don’t taste the best, but they’re a world of fun. Ooh, in the interest of making the world a better place, maybe you could invent tastier bubbles… maybe bubble gum flavored bubbles or perhaps blueberry bubbles. I would buy those! Would you invent those for me? I would do it myself but I’m too busy playing with my bubble flavored bubbles.

The moral of my story is simply that the world needs more bubbles.

I am doing my part. Are you?

Happy National Mustard Day!

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I love mustard.

And before you ask… no, not enough to marry it. But maybe just enough to casually fool around. Besides, I’m already married.

But mustard and I go way back. Growing up in Philly, I’d put mustard on my pretzel. Nothing beats Gulden’s (not Golden’s, Gulden’s) Spicy Brown Mustard on a Philly Soft! And you’ll probably think this is gross but I’d often pair the combo with a Yoo-hoo. My mouth is watering.

“What kind of wine would you like with your meal, ma’am?”

“Oh, I’ll have some yummy chocolate flavored water please! And could you bring me a huge vat of mustard for this pretzel? Thanks!”

Gosh, I haven’t had a Yoo-hoo since college. But let’s get back to mustard. This is, after all, a very serious blog about mustard.

I love all kinds of mustard. I’m a huge fan of yellow mustard, spicy mustard, honey mustard, fancy mustard sauces, mustard mixed with interesting ingredients (like Jack Daniels or horseradish or pineapples), mustard seed, mustard powder, the color mustard, Colonel Mustard…

I like mustard on sandwiches, on fish, as a dip or dressing.

My husband makes the meanest grilled artichokes and pairs them with a mustard sauce that will blow your mind (now can you see why I chose to marry him over mustard?).

I have been known to dip raw veggies in mustard AND put mustard on pizza. Why not? It is, after all, delicious and nutritious.

So… Happy National Mustard Day to you and yours. I hope you find a way to enjoy mustard today and every day. If you’re one of those weird anti-mustard people, please do the right thing and find a way to welcome mustard back into your life. This feud has been going on for too long, hasn’t it? Yes, it has. And mustard told me that it doesn’t even remember why you’re fighting. It doesn’t care who is at fault. It just wants you back. It misses you. So, please, do the right thing. You will be happy you decided to take my advice on this one.

By the way, have I mentioned that I hate mayo?

Happy National Mustard Day! Enjoy!

Words

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A good friend of mine recently posted as her Facebook status the question, “What is your favorite word?” What a great question. But in the moment I panicked. I thought, how can I pick just one favorite word when there are so many wonderful words to choose from?

Let’s face it. I love words. Yep, I’m a word nerd.

Not wanting to commit to a single, solitary word at the time, I offered up a few of my least favorite words instead. I couldn’t commit so I deflected. I needed time to think. It felt like I’d been asked to select a favorite child or film or song from the 80s. I mean, there are too many really good ones.

Also, much like sexual positions, doesn’t it kind of depend on my mood?

If I’m feeling happy, I might lean towards words like love or yellow or sunshine. On the other hand, if I’m angry I might drop an F-bomb or 2 or maybe even a C-U-Next-Tuesday. I’m not afraid to use either.

I thought long and hard about my favorites and least favorites. Unfortunately I still couldn’t commit to just one in either category so, rather than force it, I decided to compile a Top 10 list for each.

Here you go…

Faves:

  1. Fuck – It’s the best word to get my point across in any given situation. Fuck you. Fuck me. Fuck the world. Fuckin’ A (old school). Fuck yeah! Fuckedy-fuck-fuck.
  2. Awesome – Because it’s awesome. That’s why.
  3. Mommy – This one melts me on a regular basis. Any sentence that either begins or ends with mommy is a good one. Fact.
  4. Thank you – While technically 2 words, it deserves a spot in my top 10. I use the phrase frequently and honestly believe everyone should. There are infinite reasons to be thankful. We should make it a point to say so more often.
  5. Laughter – Perhaps my favorite activity also.
  6. Love – Who doesn’t love love?
  7. Monosyllabic – I love that a word that means 1 syllable is, in fact, comprised of 5 syllables.
  8. Mulch – Come on, it’s so much fun to say. Say it! MULCH!!
  9. Yay! – Because you can’t say it without the exclamation! It kind of makes you want to clap too, doesn’t it?
  10. Uranus – Did you know that Uranus is currently retrograde? Better eat more fiber!

Least Faves:

  1.  Lover – Ick.
  2. Bestie – Unless we’re 16 and splitting a BFF charm, do we really have to be besties? Can’t we just be really good friends?
  3. Ants – I don’t like ants. The word makes me itch.
  4. Rape – This is one of those words I feel gets thrown around too lightly. It’s a serious word for a serious matter. And, in my opinion, any alternate use is reducing the severity of the offense. For example: While you might not enjoy paying your taxes, the government is not raping you so get over it.
  5. Moist – Unless you’re describing cake, it’s probably best to leave this one alone too (OK, even if you’re describing cake!)
  6. Finger – Even when used innocently, this word strikes a vulgar chord.
  7. Phlegm – Ew. Even the word sounds phlegmy. Doesn’t it?
  8. No – I like yes much better.
  9. Pecker – Can we please resolve to leave this word in the 70s or 80s or wherever, whenever it was born? Every single time I think it has died, I lower my pecker guard and then someone manages to bring it back to life and smack me in the face with it (so to speak). In a nutshell, if I never-ever-ever again hear some idiot refer to his own penis as his pecker, it will be too soon. Ugh.
  10. Flan – Thanks to the warm, oozy, day-old flan I was forced to consume back in high school Spanish class on the same dreadful day I coincidentally came down with a rather volatile case of stomach flu, the look, the smell, the thought and, yes, even the word flan still gives me the cold sweats.

Thank you to Jennifer Sexton Riviezzo for the inspiration to blog about this!

Word!

April Fool

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Today, we celebrate two groups of people: Those who prank and those who get pranked!

Admittedly, I have fallen into both categories. Here’s my advice…

  • If you don’t want to get pranked, this may be a good time to cash in a vacation or sick day. There’s no shame in hiding. I’ve done it.
  • Even if you love a good prank, keep your guard up. You may have planned the best prank ever, but it might not matter if they get you first.
  • Try not to hurt anyone. Before you go yanking a chair out from under someone or wiping out the back of a knee, please be sure they aren’t suffering from a previous injury or disability. You don’t want to cause permanent physical damage, and you will look like the biggest A-hole on the planet when you find yourself being sued or serving prison time for a poorly planned April Fool’s joke. Remember: it’s not nice to use your friends’ allergies against them! Sure, it’d make a great story but is it really worth it??
  • Consider the consequences. Certain people may not want to play along, and others may not take a prank in the good nature it was (hopefully) intended. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings… especially someone who has serial killer potential. I’m just sayin’. I highly doubt the Dahmers and Bundys of the world are very good sports.
  • Above all else, always remember that whoever you prank will definitely prank you back! And, we all know, payback is a five letter word that rhymes with witch (need another clue? it starts with “B”).

If you still want to play, keep in mind that truly great pranks tend to take time and patience to plan and pull off. And, you get extra credit for originality. You don’t want to be the guy (or girl) who pulls the same old pranks year after year. Whoopy cushions are fine, when used sparingly (say, every 5 yrs).

These days, money is tight for most of us so why not take a peek around your home and get creative. Typical household items make great pranks and they can save you cash. Think of all the fun you could have with any or all of the following: aluminum foil, plastic wrap, flour, duct tape, baby oil, Crisco, diaper rash cream, Jell-o, super glue, food coloring, pickle juice, the possibilities are endless…

Much like theme costumes at Halloween, theme pranks can be fun too. Why not develop a theme or pull the same prank on everyone at your office? Cover all your coworkers’ keyboards in powdered sugar or Saran Wrap their phones. It’s slightly less risky than going to war with one person since people tend to take things better when they’re not alone. On the other hand, you might manage to piss off a whole company, and that has its downsides, too. If you can get involved in a group prank, they’re great because you can share the credit and the blame (the latter being more important obviously).

It’s probably not a great idea to prank your boss or the head of your company (unless he or she is a prankster too, or really deserves it!), especially in this economy. If you decide to do so anyway, take a few extra steps (1. Clean out your desk  2. Draft your companywide goodbye email  3. Consider scheduling a consultation with an employment rights attorney). I wonder how many folks will wind up in the Unemployment Line post April 1?

If you’re still not sure who to prank, I highly suggest pranking friends and relatives, not because they are easy targets necessarily or because they deserve it more than coworkers or complete strangers, but because they are more likely to forgive you. Pranking your mom may not make you look cool to your friends, but part of her job is to love you unconditionally (even if you’re the jerk who super-glued her tush to the toilet!). And, there’s something to be said for that!

If you fall prey to a prank, I hope it’s all in good fun and that you are able to appreciate it. If you are the prankster, I wish you luck! Hopefully, whoever you prank will be a good sport, laugh gracefully and wait until next year to unleash their wrath of revenge. You can always move away or switch jobs between now and then.

Happy April Fool’s Day!