April Fool's in France is known as Poisson d'avril, April fish. The typical gag is to tape a paper fish unto someone's unsuspecting back. In the two years that I spent living in France, I had been fortunate enough to have been spared from that prank. In fact, I expected my April 1st this year to be relatively dull and ordinary. So dull that all I was planning to have for excitement was a trip to Costco on a Sunday.
This is worth repeating: a trip to COSTCO on a SUNDAY.
For those who are not in the know, Costco demonstrates the beauty of America: a penchant for loving all things big and bargain-priced. This wholesaler, with its over-sized shopping carts and free food samples, gives you a sense of exclusivity because you have to pay a yearly membership to be able to shop there.
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't love Costco. Where else am I going to get a decent goat cheese and satisfy my Stacy's "Simply Naked" Pita chips fix in bulk?
However, a Costco crammed with hundreds of shoppers vying for deals and stuffing their gargantuan shopping carts with a year's supply of toilet paper? On a Sunday afternoon? I call that "Hell."
It also doesn't help that said Hell is located at least 25 minutes away from my house.
I should mention that should I decide to play some background music, 99% of the tunes heard on the radio in Miami are polarized by Pitbull's voice.
If music doesn't work, then surely the gorgeous Miami scenery will be a sight for sore eyes.
That is, we would have gone in there had I not asked Mom, rather nonchalantly:
My mother has a very peculiar expression in Spanish: "jugar pescadito." Literally translated, it means "to play fishy." She states this phrase whenever something or someone pulled the wool over her eyes or evaded her, much like a fish would to someone who tries to lure it unsuccessfully with a fishing pole.
When she mentioned that, I couldn't help but feel that the card had taped a metaphorical paper fish on our backs that served as our Poisson d'avril, only I didn't quite appreciate this joke.
Our trip to Hell was postponed for a trip back to the house, one accompanied by yet more of Miami's exciting scenery and Pitbull's pop/rap music.
Once Mom got her card, we spent yet another 25 minutes being serenaded by Mr. Three-Oh-Five en route to Hell...
(For those of you curious enough to make your ears bleed, here ya go.)
...where we navigated our cumbersome cart around endless columns of cardboard boxes and stacks of food for close to an hour. By the time I reached the exit, I was at my wit's end.
Things got better once we went home (albeit listening to more of Mr. Worldwide on the airwaves).
Oh, and for those who read this on my Twitter today:
It should go without saying that I have recanted that. Happy Poisson d'avril!
Barb the French Bean