The year's April 1 marked 19 years of my working for my paper. Nothing funny about that. Scarey - the years rolling by so easily, busy weeks skittering from beneath me. I don't regret. It has been richly interesting and, in many ways it has defined my identity. Of course there have been frustrations and times of stress. Hell, the job, by deadline definition, is pressured. But it also has been fun - none more, I realise, than in the days when I was the one who played the April Fool's Day pranks in the paper.
In these earnest years, April Fool pranks have gone out of style. Howard Stern played a doozey this year, removing himself from the air. And John Kerry's team did a lovely mock press release announcing that George Bush was outsourcing the national debt.
They reminded me of my favorite prank - the year I declared, with particularly ugly artist illustrations, that the city's handsome old Town Hall clock was going digital.
There was a wonderful outcry of indignation among those who had not noticed what day it was. The switchboard was jammed. The Lord Mayor was ropable. He was out for my hide. Ahh..it was a most successful jape.
Those were the days.