Written all over my face

April 1, 2012 § 6 Comments


“You can fool some of the people all of the time.
And you can fool all of the people some of the time.
But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Abraham Lincoln

I’ve only ever missed one lesson in my EFL career…

“You’ll have to get up really early to fool me!” I’d been saying this to my girlfriend for a few weeks in the build-up to April Fool’s Day, and tomorrow was the big day. I was 1 – 0 up and now I was expecting, hoping for her revenge.

The year before, she’d left for work an hour early. I’d put all the clocks in the flat forward by an hour. Even her watch resting on her bedside table, which she’d grabbed and glared at for final confirmation. The clock in the corner of breakfast telly nearly gave it away. “It’s April Fool, they’ve changed the time for everyone”, I postulated, feigning drowsiness, from under the duvet. Genius. “Well that’s not funny. People could be late for work.” And with that, she left, only to return 15 minutes later. “The roads were too quiet!” she sheepishly grinned.

Despite my goading this time round, she had kindly offered to massage my head as I had a really bad headache. It was soothing, and I enjoyed the liberally applied face cream. There are those points around the body too, aren’t there, that when squeezed, miraculously take the pain away, if only temporarily. There’s that good one right in-between the thumb and first finger.

We were living in Hungary, teaching English in two schools in a small town. It was brilliant fun, and some of my fondest classroom memories are from this time. We’d originally planned to drive all the way from England to Greece in our camper van, but Lake Balaton and the surrounding countryside easily persuaded us to stay. So when she had an early start on April 1st, and then returned with horror in her eyes saying the van had been stolen, well, it was a lame attempt.

But she couldn’t carry on the ruse. She was laughing too much. “Have you looked in the mirror yet?” I hadn’t.

“The face cream I was using last night was fake tan. It didn’t seem to be working, so I put loads on!”

I scrubbed and scrubbed, but my face remained as bright as a carrot.

Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I put my foot down. “Ring the school. Tell them I’m ill.” I only had one lesson that day, so I felt it acceptable. It was the lesson I told you about at the start, the only lesson I’ve ever missed.

“Fool me once. Shame on you.
Fool me twice. Shame on me.”

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§ 6 Responses to Written all over my face

  • Chiew says:

    You can’t fool me mate. ;)

  • Shelly Sanchez Terrell says:

    David, I once phoned my bestest gal pal to tell her I had been in love with her all my life. I phoned really early to make sure she just woke up. She was like, “ermm…uhhh…” and then I told her April Fools and I remember her laughter. She had been really fooled. The trick is to get them as soon as they wake up so then they don’t realize what is going on. Thank you for sharing this memory which brought on a fond memory I had. I can’t imagine an orange David.

  • Tiziana says:

    Thanks for the funny story, it made me laugh out loud!!! I remember a few good April fools, too!

  • Great story! 1st April completely passed me by this year – now I have to wait another whole year!

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