Ways to Liven up Your April Fools Day

I'm a storyteller by nature. I write books, scripts, stories, and poems. I'm also an actress. None of this is a new development, all through my childhood I used to make up stories and act them out. These weren't your ordinary Barbie meets GI Joe stories that my friends were telling; these were a little different. Once, through the clever use of innuendo, I convinced a complete stranger that my father had been counterfeiting twenty-dollar bills in our basement and had fled the country. I was hoping to join him but in the meantime was living in the library, teaching myself French, and stealing out in the middle of the day to lay in provisions. Another time I explained to a man that the cast on my leg was because someone had pushed me in front of the BART train and my leg had been severed and hadn't he heard about it in the news a couple of weeks ago? He assured me that he had. Pranks of this magnitude may not be your style but I'm sure there will be something in my list that will appeal to you.

Here is something that just about anyone can do. All it requires is you, possibly a friend or two, and a tree or even a tall building. The best times of day to do this are during rush hour or lunch hour. The best place is a busy sidewalk. All you have to do is stop and stare intently at something up in the tree or on the top of the building. If you have friends with you, ask, "what is that thing?" or "how did that get up there?" or "wow, you don't expect to see that!" Point if you like, scratch your head, look confused or amazed. People will quickly gather and try and figure out what you're looking at. After a couple of minutes you can walk away and leave them there, secure in the knowledge that you've added a bit of mystery to their day.

What else can you do? Why not convince a friend or loved one to visit the wonderful city of New Ephemera? This beautiful and lush vacation Mecca hosts fifty million visitors per year. Here the ATMs are free, plastic foliage is illegal, blueberries are poisonous 47% of the time and the motto is "people who don't read can't be trusted." April is an excellent time to make the trip to New Ephemera, with the average temperature hovering around 76. You can take a walking tour, visit the subterranean Honey Baths or explore the Museum of the Future. You can download the pdf brochure to give to your victim. Why victim you ask? Because this glorious city and its history stretching all the way back to 1624 is entirely fictional. It is the product of the fertile mind of School of the Visual Arts student Amanda Spielman, who created the brochure as part of a class called "Can Design Touch Someone's Heart?" Amanda made the brochure, distributed it on the subway in New York one cold morning, and was surprised to get a couple of dozen calls from people who wanted more information.

Just as important as knowing what works is knowing what to avoid. Don't tell a significant other that you have a disease, social or otherwise because this can and does lead to permanent injury. Don't call home and tell anyone that you won the lottery. You could return home to find out that they've maxed out your credit cards and sold your car in anticipation of their new improved lifestyle. Don't tell your daughter she's getting a motorcycle and don't tell your son he's getting a puppy. Don't tell your boss you've been embezzling. Absolutely, under no circumstances should you go to your local police station and confess to any crimes. Please do not tell anyone that you are pregnant when you're not. And be very, very sure not to pass a picture of someone's naked buttocks around the office and tell everyone it's the boss.

And now for a serious note, if you are someone who managed to snag an Xbox 360, you should know that this weekend, running until April 2nd, you can connect to Xbox Live Gold for free. You can download songs from the Xbox Live artist of the month, Natasha Bedingfield or play with Kamal from the Roots in NBA 2K6 (look for gamertag RootsGWF from 3 - 5 pm EST, today.) If you get up early enough on Saturday (10 - 11 EST) you can play Joust. Remember Joust from when it was an arcade game? It was a ton of fun then and now, with the ability to play multiplayer with who knows how many opponents, it's completely insane. In a good way. Or a frustrating way. Or a frustratingly good way. Perfect Dark Zero (one of the best games for Xbox 360) game play is thirteen hours later. You can get a complete schedule of events by clicking here.