The Thoughts of a Touch Tank Employee When Everyone Pretends to Be Stung on April Fool's Day

  1. Another April Fool's Day at the aquarium.
  2. Do NOT let yourself get rattled, Cory.
  3. "Everyone, so these are our rays! I just want to say right away that I know it's April Fool's Day, and I like practical jokes just as much as the next guy hahaha, but please, please do not pretend to be bit or stung, ok? We specifically clip their barbs so the rays cannot hurt you. If your friend or sibling pretends to be stung, they are a liar."
  4. Everyone is knowingly chuckling. I do not trust the public.
  5. "Also, we have horseshoe crabs in this tank. They cannot hurt you, no matter how loudly you fake scream and pretend they did."
  6. Ok, let the children approach the animals.
  7. You know it's going to happen, Cory. It's April Fool's Day. People's hands are in a tank full of wild animals. It's human nature to pretend to be bit.
  8. "Ok, so these are bluespotted maskrays. They are from-"
  9. HOLY SHIT, SO MUCH SCREAMING.
  10. "IS EVERYTHING OK?!"
  11. JESUS CHRIST WHAT-
  12. Oh. Yep. April Fool's. That kid wasn't attacked by a bluespotted maskray. Bluespotted maskrays are nice.
  13. God, my heart is pounding.
  14. "Very fun haha! But again, I'm just going to ask all visitors to please not pretend to be attacked by the animals. It can only hurt the animals."
  15. Someone is going to do it again. You are powerless against April Fool's. It always wins, Cory. Always.
  16. "Ok, so this tank has harmless sharks. I'm really going to have to put the emphasis on harmless. Ok? They are white spotted bamboo sharks and epaulette sharks. As you can see, they are tiny."
  17. I shouldn't have even told them there are sharks. I should have pretended they were just long fish.
  18. Mellow out, Cory. Do not jump when you hear a scream. It's coming. Any second now.
  19. Oh yep, there it is.
  20. "Hahaha isn't messing with little sisters fun? But really, screaming and splashing like that scares the animals the same way it scares us humans. Isn't that interesting? Now, no joking at the touch tank."
  21. I need a sign. Like an "it is not April Fool's Day at the touch tank" sign.
  22. Oh no, a high school trip. So many teenagers in snapbacks and tank tops.
  23. "Hey! Welcome to the touch tank. Did you know some rays change colors to attract a mate? Much like some of you may pretend to be stung to attract a girl hahaha. Well, don't. It is against the rules."
  24. Everyone thinks I'm such a stick in the mud.
  25. I like practical jokes. I like fun.
  26. One time at an aquarist luncheon, Shirley ordered the salmon, and I went back to the kitchen and replaced it with a recently deceased piranha. It was slightly unethical, but everyone got a good laugh before I brought it back to the lab.
  27. "Hey there, youngster! I see you picking up a horseshoe crab to put it on that young woman's shoulder. Please don't. That happened last year and a girl knocked the crab to the ground in fear. Luckily, the horseshoe crab has an exoskeleton that has remained the same for 445 million years, but that kind of fall could have really hurt a sea cucumber."
  28. Everyone is just waiting for you to turn around, Cory. Everyone who walks by is like, "oh my god, I'm at a touch tank on April 1st. How fortuitous."
  29. Guys. I cannot be on edge all day worrying about a crisis.
  30. Oh no. It's 11pm.
  31. AHHHHHH. WHAT THE-
  32. "Ok, this should go without saying, but please do not pick up a shark, put it in your friend's ear and yell "April Fool's." I'm not even sure which part of that is supposed to be the joke. There's no set-up or prank. You just straight up attacked your friend with a shark."
  33. I'm sorry, fish. I'm so sorry about today. We humans are at our worst selves.
  34. I have to do the alligator show.
  35. Cory, you got this. Just trust that Flotsam and Jetsam won't attack. They never do. Just give your presentation and throw in the chicken and get out.
  36. "Ok, so that over there is just coral. It can't bite you, so screaming and pretending it did is in inherently flawed prank."
  37. Someone is going to mess with me.
  38. It's April 1st, and someone is going to mess with when I'm in the alligator exhibit.
  39. Well, let's do this. Nerves of steel, Cory. Nerves of steel. Grab the food. Unlock the door. You got this.
  40. "Hello! And welcome to the alligator feeding. Did you know that there's only two types of alligators: the American alligator and the Chinese alligator? Also, if one of you yells that one of the alligators is approaching, I will probably scream and run."
  41. "That's a perfectly reasonable reaction to being told an alligator is coming for you and I refuse to be embarrassed for it. Now let's feed 'em!"
  42. Ok, keep your eyes on both Flotsam and Jetsam. Do not let yourself be tricked by the crowd. You know your bearings better than they do.
  43. Thank God the alligators do not know it's April Fool's day.
  44. Look at that crowd. So many people ready to mess with me.
  45. Hello, guy with visor on indoors. Think you can mess with me to impress your girlfriend? Think again.
  46. Ok, feed them, slowly.
  47. Oh yep. Someone is screaming that an alligator is coming for me.
  48. Very funny. Do not acknowledge it. Keep feeding Flotsam.
  49. "So these are American alligators. Do you know how you can tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Well their noses-"
  50. Now the whole crowd is screaming. What an elaborate prank.
  51. Wait. Where is Jetsam?
  52. Cory, you took your eye off Jetsam to stare down the crowd.
  53. Oh man, he's behind me. The alligator is behind me.
  54. Throw the chicken and get out of here, Cory.
  55. HE IS LUNGING.
  56. AHHHHHHHHHH. AHHHHHHHHHH.
  57. "AHHHH! MY ARM. HE GOT MY ARM."
  58. "APRIL FOOL'S."
  59. I did it. I got them. The ol' arm up the sleeve trick. I tricked them. I am the April Fool's master.
  60. "Also, wild animals are not to be messed with like that. I took a scary situation and made light of it, and I apologize."