D.J. Stone sits on the edge of the waterbed he inherited from his mother. Beside him on the bed is a pile of trousers. As he slips his leg into a fifth pair of pants, he laughs. His wife, Maria, has sewn the hems together on this pair as well. “I stayed up all night doing it. I even made sure to do all of the dirty laundry. I didn’t miss a single pair!” Maria proudly states. D.J. looks at his wife adoringly, “I’m late to work a lot because of her pranks, but the joy they bring makes jeopardizing my job worth it.” He lovingly recalls the time she put raisins in the toothpaste tube causing brown goo to ooze out when he squeezed it. He chuckles at the memory of a friend’s dinner party. Maria snuck into the bathroom and melted Tootsie Rolls all over the toilet seat. “Last night he got me pretty good!” Maria smiles, “He served me a plate of Oreos, but he replaced all the filling with toothpaste.” The love in the room is palpable.
It wasn’t always this way for the Stones. After having three kids, they struggled to maintain the spark that had drawn them together. The stress that they love being parents, but they also needed something that was just for them. A year ago, on April Fool’s Day, they realized they had found it. As D.J. went to turn on the kitchen faucet that day, he was sprayed with an icy blast of water. Maria had put a rubber band around the spray nozzle. A classic prank that D.J. admits he “should have seen coming.” As he headed to the bedroom to change his clothes, their eyes locked. “It felt like the moment I was walking down the aisle of the church on our wedding day,” Maria recalls, dabbing tears from her eyes. It was then that they realized pranks were what they needed to rekindle their romance. “It makes me feel like a kid again,” D.J. says, “Everything is just more fun now.” They vowed on that day that they wouldn’t limit their pranks to just one day a year. The couple agreed that, moving forward, every day would be April Fool’s Day for them.
For the first few months the Stones basked in the glow of never knowing what to expect next. “Would she tape an airhorn to the wall protector, so it went off when I swung the door open? Would she cover my entire car in Post-it notes? Would the ketchup erupt when I took off the lid because she put baking soda in it? Life just became so exciting!” Maria says D.J. has become much better at pranking as the months have passed. “At first he might hide my phone or make a prank call from work. But last week he printed out a picture of his head and put it inside a jar in the refrigerator! I have never felt so proud of him.” Eventually the Stones realized they couldn’t keep this joy to themselves. It was a gift they planned to share with everyone.
“The first person I pranked was my minister at church,” Maria says. She took out an ad in a local newspaper advertising a yard sale starting at 6:00 AM. “I made sure it said, ‘EARLY BIRDS WELCOME’. He said his doorbell started ringing at 5:30 that morning.” Since then they’ve gone on to prank neighbors, grandparents, co-workers and even complete strangers. When asked if any pranks have ever gone too far, the Stones get uncomfortable. “One of the women from my ladies’ group at church stopped speaking to me,” Maria says sadly. When the woman’s newborn baby needed a diaper change Maria and a friend offered to do it. “I took a doll and dressed it in the baby’s sleeper. I pretended to trip as I came down the stairs and dropped the doll. She cried for a pretty long time.” D.J. says a neighbor called the police and chased him through the neighborhood as he was putting dark paper over his door to make it look like there had been a break in. “Pranking doesn’t come without risks. I guess nothing you have a passion for does.”
Asked whether they will pass the tradition on to their kids, they nod excitedly. “Just last night our daughter Skye brought us ice cream sundaes. They were made from cold mashed potatoes and gravy!” Maria positively beams as she speaks. “Our plan is to change the world. One prank at a time. Some people may think planting chia pet seeds in a co-worker’s keyboard doesn’t make a difference. We plan to prove them wrong.”