I've played April fool's jokes on the family for so many years, they're on to me. With their calendars marked and phone alarms reminding them I may be calling to play a prank, it's become nearly impossible to pull it off.

Some years I've even had to resort fooling them several days before, which they argue isn't fair, but I say it's a fools' game, so there aren't any rules. My girls are impossible to play tricks on since they grew up with a prankster mom and unfortunately for them, I didn't just prank them on April Fool's Day.

Trying to get everyone called, in one day, to play a prank, just got to be too time consuming, so I started planning family event shenanigans. One year, while eating out for my niece's birthday, I snuck a large screw in my mouth and let it drop loudly on my plate as if I had just bit into it. Their reaction was worth nearly chipping my tooth.

It's no holds barred when it comes to April fools and if they're all together and it's close to being April 1, it's going to happen. Lucky for me, Easter was on March 31 last year. While enjoying our annual Easter egg hunt, I gathered up the family for a group photo, when suddenly I yelled to one of the kids, "watch out, don't step in that dog poop," and pointed to a mound.

Then, as everyone was watching, I picked it up and took a bite of the cooked brownie, I had so carefully designed into an authentic looking pile of poop. The 7-year-old girl was so disgusted she's still talking about it.

This years' April Fools was going to have to be carried out by someone else. The only other person in this house wasn't going to have any part of it and believe me, I tried convincing him how much fun it would be by describing different scenarios. Apparently, it's a lot more fun for me than everyone else.

I decided the least suspecting person in the family, to pull off a prank, would be my oldest daughter. Not that she can't be funny, but we all agree, she's the most trustworthy and serious of the bunch. Somehow I got her to agree to my plan.

April fools' morning she sent out an email to everyone, to beware of rabid raccoons that were plaguing the city. She had to leave for work early as there were already five dogs who had been attacked (I thought it was a great story line, since she's a veterinarian).

Unfortunately, she didn't fool anyone, except for the newest family member. Having married into the family, just last summer, the guy hadn't experienced the years of tricks as the others had, so he fell for it, hook, line and sinker. He woke up the daughter, before he left for work, to tell her all about the rabid raccoons and to keep watch over their dogs when they went outside. The guy was in full mode for a raccoon reconnaissance.

The one fool in the family made this old fool very happy as I was able to put another year of a successful prank on the books.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com