April 1, 2019
“All set or surgery!”
That was all I wrote beneath the picture of myself in the hospital prep room. Two years ago today. I’d posted it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, notifying everyone that it was “that day”. It’s not as if I hadn’t warned them either. Everyone had known about my knee problems for years. Correction, KNEES.
A few years prior, I had undergone Total Knee Replacement surgery after having been in and out of minor procedures. The years of performing/dancing, sports, daredevil stunts and consequential injuries had taken their toll. It didn’t help that I had gained a significant amount of weight over time. Way too much weight. Time and life had produced a middle-aged used car of a man, with broken down parts and no warranty.
Anyway, back to the story.
The responses poured in.
“Praying for you.”
“Hope all goes well.”
“You good, G?” (what the hell does “G” stand for anyway?).
I was encouraged. I NEEDED encouragement. You see, although I had already been through it, my anxiety level was a bit higher this time around. Probably because it had been a difficult past few months for me physically and emotionally, leading up to it.
Then the responses changed, no doubt because the realization of the day’s date had set in. I didn’t know about it because by the time the new messages rolled in, I was either moments away from anesthesia, unconscious under the knife or in recovery, unaware of who I was and confessing things people didn’t need to know. In any event, it had been hours.
By the time I knew my own name and checked my phone it was an entirely different story. People on Facebook (a great many, the victim of my practical jokes over the decades) began to talk. Many of the “marks” mentioned/posted that this was yet another ruse of mine and for others not to believe it. Instagram was kinder because it, along with Twitter, was/is mainly comprised of people I’ve never met. But Facebook was different. These were people I had worked with, went to school with, played on the city street with. They knew me, well.
“Man, this is a joke!”
“Hey everybody, don’t believe him. You know this is Kenny’s favorite day!”
“I ain’t falling for this one bit.”
And that was nothing compared to the personal text messages and voice mails. Funny how people are more inclined to be real with their messages in private conversations. Yeah, folks know how to cuss…
I didn’t mean to make this a full-blown story, as much as it should be a commentary. You all know me, though. I believe in full immersion so you get the total picture.
Let’s just say that by the end of the day, very few people believed me, having dismissed this as an elaborate scheme, using either an old photo or me being clever enough to get the hospital to let me involve them.
You know what was REALLY interesting? Even when I posted the photo of me taking my first steps (my Orthopedic surgeon guarantees that you’ll be walking the same day – or at least he MAKES you do it), people STILL thought I was milking the joke to the fullest. Some applauded me on its authenticity while others accused me of having gone too far and that it was time to let the joke go. For what it’s worth, until midnight, you are permitted to work a joke as long and as much as you wish. It is, after all, April Fool’s Day. Consider this as much a warning as it is a hint.
Well, it took a good week before everyone finally believed me. Many apologized for the things they said (or worse, thought). Some told me that I should have said that it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day prank, which is hilarious in itself because NO ONE can convince any living soul that an action isn’t a prank when they declare that it isn’t.
What I found funniest is that one person even told me, about two weeks later, that “enough was enough”. She STILL didn’t believe me…
I guess that was a testament to how deeply scarred some folks really were from my shenanigans over the years. Not that I give a damn. *giggle*
In the end and after all the love I eventually received, I couldn’t help but smile because the greatest practical joke I ever played was one that wasn’t played at all.
Happy April Fool’s Day/Month!
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