I probably didn't have an understanding of April Fool's jokes until I started to school. We younger ones were prime targets for the older students. It was easy to fool us. It might have taken all day for our comprehension to take place and the evening to plot some joke of our own. The next day at school we would try out our own April Fool's jokes only to hear the chant: "Ha! Ha! April Fool's past; you're the biggest fool at last!"
Over my 70+ years, I know I have played April Fool's Day tricks many times - on my own children, on friends, spouses, co-workers. The optimum joke playing time is always early in the morning before anyone else has a chance to play a trick thereby reminding the trickee what the day is. Once alerted, most potential fools are on guard the rest of the day.
Of all my April Fool's tricks, there is only one I can actually remember: I was probably ten or so, it was morning, Mom was making breakfast. I looked out the east door and shouted, "Mom, there's a
skunk coming toward the house!" Living in the country, my parents were always on the lookout for skunks nearby because they were notorious carriers of rabies. Mom hurried over to see if the skunk was 'acting funny' and I yelled, "April Fool's!" As I recall, she wasn't amused.
Some April Fool's Day jokes are more elaborate - Jim Halpert's 'equipment in jello' on The Office comes to mind - although I don't believe he used that trick only on April 1. I also remember the boys 'stacking lockers' in high school. (So your books fell out on you when you opened the door.) Again, I don't think that was limited to one day a year.
I did think of a joke I could play today, though I would have to wait until ten o'clock tonight - after the winning Powerball numbers are called. I could post on Facebook that Bud's playing had finally paid off and he won the lottery and that we were going to give each of our children and grandchildren a share of the winnings. Then I would shut down my computer and wait until tomorrow to let them know it was an April Fool's joke.
But hold on. Wouldn't that make me the biggest fool at last?