The Horrid April Fool
And now the cheerful idiot marches promptly to the front,
To blight his race and curse the age, as ever is his wont,
In harmless little "practicals," which mark the dismal way,
And though he spoil one's life he claims "'twas only done in play."
The first, though not the greatest fool, is he who seeks to air
And advertise his lunacy by jerking back one's chair,
Just as one's "brakes" are taken off, from ankle up to neck,
When, in the place of sitting down, one strikes the floor — a wreck.
In order next is he who lays the redhot horseshoe down
Along the way where busy men are hurrying thro' the town:
Whence, hid behind the shutters closed, with ghoulish glee he stands,
To hear the oath and smell the smoke from blistered, burning hands.
His brother in the flesh is he who low across the walk
A wire stretches where one passes as 'tis growing dark,
To mash one's nose, to skin one's knees, to break one's head or neck,
To please the dev'lish fancy of a blasted lunatic.
A screaming joke the idiot sees in lying to a friend
About a man (who don't exist) to whom he quick must send
A load of hay, or ton of coal, ne'er counting up the cost
Of this, his little "April fook," of time and labor lost.
The "Cheerful" is resourceful and can find a hundred ways
To bring despair to all around, throughout his wretched days,
Through working cheerfully such tricks, while mocking at their fears
Nor does he e'er grow old or die, nor does the smile he wears.
— J.M. Waddill [El Paso Daily Herald
, Apr 4, 1900]