Either Or

Let this blog, short as it is, be a warning to you: It’s April 1. Beware the pranksters.

As far as I can tell, no one knows the origin of April Fool’s Day, and the only advice I’ve been able to find is: if you’re going to play a prank, 1) play it early in the morning before people are awake enough to figure out what day it is; and 2) don’t play one on your boss.

One year in the last century, a group I worked with challenged each other to show up in the lab sporting a different persona. Not exactly a prank, but a springboard for conversation. Here’s a photo of my anti-persona.

Yes, I showed up as a camper.

I’d asked a friend if I could borrow a backpack for the day. I pictured something slightly larger than a purse, perhaps in a soft blue fabric. As you see, she gave me the most serious pack I’d ever seen. HEAVY and AWKWARD don’t begin to describe it.

“Why didn’t you remind me to use the restroom before I suited up?” I asked her.

“April Fool,” she said.

What if that’s the answer to life? What if Kierkegaard was right, in “Either Or:”

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public. They thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it. The acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will end, to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.

I can hear them now, shouting, “April Fool!” But what if I really am a camper?

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7 Responses

  1. Great photo, Camille. You do look overwhelmed with that monster on your back! And what if the world really is all a joke? Like some of the bizarre creatures one find in the depths of the ocean? The world of playwrights Ionesco and Beckett? Well, whatever one’s beliefs, we must admit the need for fun in our lives, a little April Fool on our doorstep.

  2. What if you are? Today, I suppose, any way you answer would be suspect, so I’ll ask you later.

  3. I love your spirt Wendy and Nancy. I’m off to play a joke. Or not.

  4. HA! I think I recognize some of that gear… and oh, how “low-tech/last-century” it is! External-frame backpacks are passe in the go-light go-fast crowd these days… ;-)

    • Who knew, Ann? So embarrassed that I haven’t kept up with outdoor gear technology!

  5. Camille, the day you become a camper will be the day I become a camper. Come on, beds and indoor plumbing have been invented; let’s use them!

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