By Norris Chambers


            Clifton had an Uncle Lon and Aunt Laura. They were very nice folks and everybody liked them. Uncle Lon was bad about pulling tricks on people and he pulled a good one on Clifton on the last April Fool’s Day. Clifton was determined to get even and wanted to get started on a trick that would get a belated revenge. That sounded like fun so we began working on a masterpiece.

            After considering and rejecting several common-place ideas we finally thought of something that would at least be different and might generate some real humor. We would compose a letter from someone they never heard of and never knew and have it mailed from another state without an address or phone number. The mailing would be simple since I had a pen pal in Arkansas and it would be easy to address the sealed envelope to Uncle Lon and Aunt Laura and send it there to be mailed. 

            We tried a few letters and finally thought this one might be believable enough to make them wonder who Audrey could be.


Dear Laura and Lon,

I hope this letter finds you and yours doing fine. It has been a long time since you wrote. I took pen in hand to let you know that papa has forgiven Kenny for damaging his door mat. We convinced papa that Kenny wasn’t trying to set the porch on fire.

Elmer is on the lookout for a new job since he got the ax at the produce plant when he stood up to the turnip wrangler and slit his lip with a sucker punch. It turns out the man was Norm Johnson’s first wife’s brother.

Bennie got out of the house last week and hurt his back since Miss Turner on Avenue B says he has been hanging around her back yard begging for scraps. I told her not to feed him. Bennie is an adult, being almost 29 come Oct. 1, and capable of making his own way.

The kids are getting in from school so I had best get their snack ready before Elmer takes a hand in it.

Drop us a line or call if you get the time. Papa still talks about the way you say his name in public.


P.S. Just got a great brain storm – we will visit you the first week in April. I know there will be six of us and I will try to persuade Jim and Allie to come along with their family. We will have a real old get together. See you soon.


            We carefully wrote the letter on regular writing tablet paper, folded it nicely and inserted it in the envelope. After carefully addressing it and stamping it we sent it to my pen pal in Arkansas to mail. We estimated that it would arrive three or four days before   April 1. This would allow several days for them to wonder who the visitors would be and to try to find out who they were.

            It started working just as we had planned. On March 29 the letter arrived and the identity search began.  Just about every person in the community was asked if they remembered or had ever known anyone in the area named Audrey, That was about all the information they had and no one knew a family with a person named Audrey in it. There was nothing to do but wait for the visit. Of course there was the possibility that the letter was a mistake, but it was sent to the correct address and used their names in the opening sentence. Uncle Lon was so engrossed in the mystery that he forgot to pull any April Fool


            The mystery was solved a few days later when Laura and Lon received another letter from the Arkansas folks that left Uncle Lon feeling tricked. The last letter read: April Fool, Laura and Lon! Now we are even. Clifton.

            Was this trick a lot of fun? It sure was – maybe you ought to try it on your favorite uncle.


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