The greatest April Fool’s Day prank I’ve pulled off involved stealing a car and a bathtub full of Styrofoam packing peanuts.
We had some close friends who rarely locked their house. They also had a car that for some reason wouldn’t pass inspection, and had been sitting on the street in front of their house for quite a while. This particular year they were out of town over the weekend, and were coming back on Sunday – which happened to be April 1st. Perfect time to pull the prank of all pranks.
The plan was that I would “steal” their car, hide it in our garage, and leave a “car towing invoice” on their door saying that the car had been towed away because it was considered abandoned by the city since it hadn’t moved in months. We had some help from his wife, and had let her know that we were going to pull this on her husband. While planning out the caper, we also decided that filling their bathtub with Styrofoam peanuts would be a hilarious addition, and a good way to prank her too.
To put this prank in motion, we needed to do some considerable preparation. I found an invoice online, and with some rudimentary photoshopping skills, managed to make a somewhat passable towing invoice from a fictional towing company in a nearby town. On the invoice, we instructed them to call the towing company – which was my mom’s home phone number - for instructions on where and when to retrieve their car, Then we had my mom change her answering machine message, she said in her best, nasally 50’s phone operator voice that the shop was closed for the weekend, and they would need to call back on Monday. At the end of her message, she said “if this is _____, April Fools!” Then, we found a packing supply store that sold peanuts in huge – and I mean HUGE! Bags. We bought two.
Time to act! Under the cover of darkness, I snuck over to their house, let myself in, retrieved their keys and went out to take the car. Surprise! The battery was dead from sitting for months. Great! So I snuck back home, grabbed my car and jumper cables, and went back over. Thankfully for me in this case, they have fairly unobservant neighbors. Several minutes later, the car was securely stored in my garage away from prying eyes.
Next morning -Sunday, we went back over, placed the towing notice on the front door, returned the car keys to their position on the pegboard and took in our two HUGE bags of peanuts – again, thankful that their neighbors were unobservant.
Here’s a tip if you ever are going to fill someone’s bathtub with peanuts, put the curtain on the inside of the tub. We dumped the first bag in, and it was enough to fill the tub up to the top! We had the second bag, and we didn’t want to waste it, so most of it went in too. The tub was filled about a foot over the level of the tub, and we had enough peanuts left over that we filled all of their cups, bowls and drawers in their kitchen!
Later that day, they came back, and saw the notice and the lack of a car. From what we were told later, He went ballistic. He called, listened to the first part of the message, and lost it. He didn’t make it to the part of the message that said it was an April Fool's prank. He was ready to unload on the city, but of course they were closed. He almost went to the home of one of the city workers who lived in our neighborhood, but was stopped by his wife who suggested he call back and listen to the entire message in case there was something he missed.
Needless to say, it took him a while to find the humor in the joke. The car was returned, andeventually all was back to normal.
What about the packing peanuts, you may be asking yourself at this time? Well, with all of the chaos surrounding the car, they didn’t notice the peanuts in the shower until Monday morning when he overslept, was running late, and went to take a quick shower…
They no longer left their door unlocked after that day.