Well played, Mother Nature…

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Mornin’ all.

I can’t believe it’s April already. Where does the time go?

I know, I know. Only old folks say that, and they say it a lot. I’m not all that old, but I get it. I blinked for a hot minute somewhere around Groundhog Day, and we fast forwarded in time to April.

Well, we humans did. Mother Nature? Eh, not so much. She’s still stuck in an endless loop of snow and ice and sadness. I just want spring. That’s all.

I’m not alone, either. I was out shoveling the insanely heavy slurpee she dumped on us yesterday morning and I overheard this exchange from two miserable song birds sitting in the tree across the way:

“I told you we should wait another couple weeks, Harold. But noooooo. No-o-o-o-o. You HAD to beat the traffic.”

“Shut up, Phyllis.”

“We could have stayed with the Jensons in that four star mangrove, if you were so itchy to get away from my mother…”

“YOU’RE the one that wanted to get away from your mother!”

“I can’t think in that place! Everything’s so cluttered and…”

“I’d take your mother’s cramped nest over Enid’s cooking! I said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s no way in hell I’m going to spend two weeks choking down stink bugs just because they’re some hipster foodie trend. I don’t care how old fashioned it makes me sound, but give me a plain worm any day.”

“*arches eyebrow* *nods toward snow piles* And how’s that working out for ya?”

“*sniff*…shut up, Phyllis.”

I think the only thing those early birds are catching is a cold.

*author’s note: Yes, I’m fully aware that you don’t actually catch a cold from being cold. Sheesh. It’s just for comedic value. Is that really your line? Really? In everything you read, THAT’S your objection? Hmm??*

It’s a spring snow, though. Heavy. Arm, back, leg achingly heavy. A real shovel-breaker. BUT, it shouldn’t last long. The beauty of the spring snow is exactly the same thing that causes the misery at the shovel. It’s warm enough outside to ensure that whatever accumulates won’t be around for long.

April.

Did anyone do any April Fooling? I did not. I generally don’t. I know people who love the…holiday? I mean, I don’t think it’s an actual holiday, is it? It’s a day of resigned annoyance borne from a bygone era of lifelong serfdom misery. Their lives sucked so badly that for one day- ONE DAY- they just needed a way to laugh at the misfortune of others, to trick someone into being the fool so they could feel just a tad superior for a single shining moment of glory.

If it is actually considered a holiday, it’s a shit one.

I don’t mind mild pranks where no one gets hurt. A guilty pleasure of mine is the show Impractical Jokers. It’s funny to watch someone get tricked, have a harmless giggle, move on.

What I don’t get, though, are the pranks that take it to the next level. I cannot wrap my head around wanting to cause your friends pain for laughs, be it physical or emotional. I don’t get what’s funny about buttering the floor so someone falls and cracks their head open, and I don’t understand why anyone would dream up staging a kidnapping where the friend/victim honestly believes one of his buddies was killed (actual YouTube prank by a hideous human being). The kid now has legit PTSD. Oh, yeah. That’s a fucking laugh riot.

I think anyone who could do stuff like that is a true sadist.

“Bethie, I think that’s a little harsh.”

Is it? I’m not saying they go out and torture the neighbor’s kittens. I’m saying that a mind that thinks, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we abducted Jeff, put a pillow sack over his head, threw him in the back of a van, drove around awhile, shoved him to the ground, shot off a gun, and then ripped off the sack so he could see his best friend face down on the ground in a pool of fake blood,” is not a healthy person. That dude absolutely tortured someone who was supposed to be a close friend, someone he supposedly cared about. He not only tortured him in the moment, but gave the kid lifelong mental problems. For a laugh. And DEFENDED the content when the internet said, “Not cool, bro.”
Think about that. It was bad enough that the internet– the greatest hive of villainy and deceit ever conceived- thought it went too far. The same juggernaut of debauchery that give uninhibited access to Two Girls One Cup drew the line at this “prank”.

That is not someone I would be comfortable being around. And it’s not someone whose “work” I want to watch for shits and giggles. I honestly cannot understand the people who do.

But, a good old rubber band around the sprayer nozzle on the kitchen sink? Comedy gold.

My kids didn’t prank, either. Maybe because they’ve grown up aware of all the idiotic pranks on the internet? None of them ever really got into it at all *knock wood*. The only one that’s really tried is the youngest pup, and his are so benign that the very innocence of it all is what gets the laugh.

I don’t know if there’s anyone out there who is a Spongebob survivor. If you had kids in the early 2000s, you know what I’m talking about. There’s an April Fools episode where Spongebob spends his day pulling off pranks like giving a customer a large drink when he ordered a medium, adding an extra ice cube, etc. The littlest pup does stuff like that, then stands there with twinkling eyes waiting to see if you notice. It is extremely cute, and since he doesn’t read this blog, I can say “cute” free from fear of repercussions. I guess he’s my little April Fool. His birthday is this month, so that really works.

But shh, because he’d be SO pissed if he knew I said that.

It’s supposed to be 50 today. At the moment, my driveway looks like a spring break mud wrestling match is about to begin. Er, minus the drunk girls in bikinis and “bros” in board shorts shouting “what’s good, fam?” in a desperate attempt to sound cool and force people to like them.

The 50 degree day will, in no way, make the situation any better. I’m a bit worried. I drive a heavy clunker, and if the snow melts too fast, it might just succumb like Artax.

*NeverEnding Story fistbump*

It’s happened before. My driveway has honestly eaten a car. Tried its best to, anyway, until the tow pulled the Nissan from the brink of death.

It was right around this time of year in a funky spring not unlike this one. There was late season snow piled high from a storm, and I was having family over after a funeral.

Now, I live in an area with a lot of underground springs, and I’m right by a river. None of my yard is what I would consider stable. In fact, every year, there are new bumps and dips and outright trenches from the shifting water underneath. Our driveway stretches across a large section of this unstable land. Every spring there’s a large area of the driveway that gets squishy and mushy and awful. Usually it’s no big deal to just not park there for a few weeks, but, as I said, we were having people over and the driveway filled up fast.

We had been carefully placing cars away from the suck zone, but ran out of room. The little Nissan Sentra was the lightest car, and we figured, “Eh, seems solid enough,” when the wheels didn’t immediately start sinking. We partied as the Polish do when someone kicks off, and as the day was fading, people started to leave. As soon as the Nissan tried to move, the driveway let it be known that action was not allowed. The tires dug right down into that mud and in seconds the whole car was bumper-deep.

Now, that car was being driven by my mother.

“Oh, Bethie. Tell me you didn’t laugh.”

Oh, how I wish I could!

Was it the nice thing to do? No. Did we try everything to get it unstuck? Yes. We helped. It took a hired tow truck to move the car in the end, but we got covered in mud trying. I think that made up for the laughter.

Maybe?

But come on, people. Things turned out okay in the end, and I’m only human. You weren’t there to see just how quickly things went south. One second, perfectly normal car about to turn out of the drive. The next? Snarlax victim. It was as if the earth itself decided to suck in the rear end of the car like a spaghetti noodle. I’m sorry, Mum, but that shit’s funny. I still laugh about it today.

Maybe none of us should do April Fools tricks. We can’t possibly compete with Mother Nature.

Thus concludes the first April Musing for Sunday, Mass Effect Andromeda Day, 2017. I’m going to be playing. All day. I have been waiting for this game forever and now my screw off day is here. I’ve got soda and chips. I’ve got some kind of meat to throw in the crock pot for dinner. I’ve downloaded the updates, designed and named my character, and I am about to embark on the long awaited adventure. …so what am I still doing here???

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