If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love to play April Fool's jokes. I have managed to execute some great ones in the past. Last year, the target was my Mom. The joke was just one part of the many surprises we planned for her 60th birthday celebration. Just a few days after Mom's sixtieth birthday, Pascal turned 40.
He spent the week of his fortieth birthday preparing for my mother’s 60th birthday extravaganza and hosting out-of-town guests. Pascal was saintly---diligently cleaning, cooking, climbing 10-foot ladders, and answering to his wife’s many demands with nary a complaint. Consequently, for Pascal, the big 4-0 passed with very little fanfare.
So this year, I wanted to remind him that he is loved and appreciated and, well…one year older! There was just one catch. Pascal and I work together 24/7. I wouldn't be able to hide setting up for a big party, and the truth was I needed his help. Eureka! I had a plan. His 41st birthday celebration could also double as a great April Fool's joke.
I told Pascal that I had agreed to host a special party for one of our most loyal customers (whom we also count as a friend). This meant that he would spend the entire day unknowingly preparing for his own party. When 6:30 pm arrived, instead of greeting our customer's guests, Pascal would be met by his friends.
Pascal had no idea I was up to another April Fool's trick. Here's what he looked like when he turned around and saw his buddies standing there instead of our guests:
His first word was an expletive (and no, it wasn't "Merde!") His confusion quickly turned to smiles, especially as he opened a bottle of his favorite cognac, Remy Martin. He changed out of his chef's coat and became a guest at his own party. The theme was 40 + 1, so everybody brought one gag gift to help him celebrate. The creativity was fantastic. Some highlights included one French frog, one bottle of French wine, one Slim Jim (his favorite American snack); one gorgeous money tree (a hydrangea in full bloom), and even one job application to a pancake house in Leland (don't ask!).
Pascal has a very special relationship with Mark, his friend from across the pond. Mark calls Pascal "Frog"; Pascal calls Mark "Mr. Bean". I call this crazy duo "Frog and Bean":
Since Pascal was having so much fun drinking cognac and visiting with his friends, Millie and I took over in the kitchen, making crepes for everyone. Millie worked double duty, taking all of the photos, except this one, of course:
Pascal was truly surprised. He didn't suspect a thing. As for me, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and enjoyed a secret satisfaction that I'd succeeded in foiling, fooling and suprising someone I love yet again. Thanks to all of my co-conspirators who helped to create a memorable evening for our favorite Frenchman!