Seventeen years ago, I was three months pregnant with my second son and staying at home raising a toddler while my husband, an active-duty marine, went to work each day. On March 31, I had a prenatal checkup at the nearby military hospital and went alone so that my husband could watch our son and I could get some much-needed “me” time.
When I came home that afternoon, my husband and I got into an argument, and although I can’t remember why, I know it was big enough that we stopped speaking that day — and the next morning, when he went to work, he didn’t even say goodbye. I didn’t think much about the argument and I knew that it would eventually blow over.
To occupy myself that morning, I decided to do some light housework while my son napped, and I turned on the local radio station to make cleaning less dreary.
As I was sweeping the floors, I listened to the DJs mention April Fools’ Day pranks. I had completely forgotten about the day and had always wanted to play a prank on my husband. I heard the DJs tell listeners to call in to the station to have them play a prank on someone.
Jackpot! Even though my husband and I weren’t talking, I knew playing a prank would be a great way to end our silly argument.
I called the radio station and got through to the DJs right away. I told them about my prenatal appointment at the hospital the day before and that I wanted to trick my husband into thinking we were having twins.
“Why not triplets?” the DJ asked.
“Sure, why not?” I answered.
The set-up for the prank was perfect. One of the DJs was going to call my husband at work and pretend to be my doctor. I gave him the name of the hospital I was seen at and the name of my obstetrician and waited eagerly by the radio to hear the prank play out.
Finally, 20 minutes after my initial call, I heard them mention my husband’s name.
“All right listeners, we are about to call Corporal Salazar and tell him that his wife is pregnant with triplets.”
I was glued to the radio and already laughing. When my husband came to the phone, he sounded confused.
“This is Corporal Salazar,” he said. “Is everything OK?”
“Yes, yes, everything is fine,” the DJ said. “I tried to reach your wife at home with the test results, but no one answered. This number was listed as a secondary contact number, so that’s why I’m calling you.”
“Test results?” my husband asked.
“Yes, the test came back this morning and it looks like you are having triplets. Congratulations!” the DJ lied.
I should mention here that my husband would have had no idea about prenatal tests, so he wouldn’t have realized that none of what the DJ said made any actual sense.
“Wow,” was all my husband could say.
“Are you OK?” the DJ asked.
“Yes, I… I’m just shocked,” my husband replied. “I must have super sperm!”
This really happened, live on the air.
The DJ laughed and told my husband that he was right; his sperm must be exceptionally potent. I laughed so hard I almost choked at that point. Then the DJ asked my husband what he planned on doing with three babies.
“Shoot, I don’t know. We can barely manage the one we have,” my hubby replied. Way to make us look like crappy parents, babe.
“You know,” the DJ said in a low voice, “I know someone. He could get you $10,000 per baby if you’d be willing to sell them.”
This bit was all improvisational on the DJ’s part. I hadn’t thought of asking to sell my imaginary triplets, but was eager to hear what my husband would say. I expected my husband to raise his voice in indignation, to scold the so-called doctor and ask how dare he suggest selling our babies.
Instead, my husband said this:
“$10,000, huh? Hmmm.” Apparently, my husband needed a moment to mull over the idea of selling our offspring for cash. After an unusually long, awkward pause, the DJ finally broke the silence and informed my husband that not only was it a prank, but that he was live on the air and thousands of people were listening.
“Oh God,” my husband replied. “Who set this up?”
“Your wife, man,” the DJ replied.
“I need to talk to her!” my husband said, laughing before hanging up.
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He came home 15 minutes later and pointed at me. His face was red, he was laughing and could barely talk.
“I can’t believe you did that,” he said.
“Well, that’s what you get for not talking to me!” I replied.
He came and hugged me, kissed me on the lips and told me he loved me, and that he was sorry for arguing with me.
“You know, everyone in the battalion knows about it,” he said. “Everyone was laughing at me.”
“Even your boss?” I asked.
“Even my boss,” he replied.
The prank had been so funny that his commanding officer had allowed him to come home early. It turns out my prank was good for more than just a laugh — it got my husband a half-day off from work.
To this day, we still laugh when we tell the story, and my husband is forever vigilant every April 1 in case I might decide to prank him again.
One day, when he’s least expecting it, I totally will.
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