1. Egypt. Airplane ride back to Cairo from Luxor (burial place of the pharaohs). Approximately 1982.
I was tour director for twenty eight people. The local travel agent I was working with in Luxor purchased twenty four tickets instead of twenty eight tickets for the trip back to Cairo. He pocketed the difference.
I went to the ticket counter at the Luxor airport to purchase the additional four tickets. “Sorry,” said the agent at the ticket counter. “No more tickets.”
I had this happen before in Egypt. So I had learned to say, “We all go, or no one goes.”
After several minutes of negotiating with the pilots, the agent finally agreed to print out four more tickets. After that, the question then became, where would four additional passengers sit. When the pilots saw our group, they suggested that the three teenage girls traveling with us sit in the cockpit with the pilots.
“Sure,” I said. “What a great experience that will be for the girls.” In fact, one of those girls was my oldest daughter. When my wife heard me say that, she refused to look or talk to me.
After that we still had one passenger to find a seat for. The pilot motioned to the bathroom. At my wife’s urging, she suggested I sit there. And so it was for the forty or so minute flight back to Cairo.
2. Son-In-law plays April Fool’s joke. Around 1998. Salt Lake City.
I receive a voicemail from President’s Monson’s secretary indicating that President Monson ( then a member of the Mormon church’s First Presidency) wanted to see me before the church’s General Conference started.
I was startled and could only think that he was going to ask me to occupy a high church position.
I called back and said, “This is Roger Hendrix. I’m returning President Monson’s call.”
“Excuse me, what’s your name?” asked the secretary.
“Roger Hendrix, I’m supposed to come in and see President Monson before General Conference.”
“Brother Hendrix”, replied the secretary, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have your name on any list. Let me check with President Monson.”
At that very moment my cell phone rings, it’s my daughter. “Dad, don’t call President Monson, John’s playing an April Fool’s joke on you.”
In the meantime, the secretary comes back on the land line and says, “He doesn’t remember making an appointment to see you. Would you like to talk to him?”
“Brother Hendrix, are you there? Brother Hendrix . . .”
Words cannot begin to describe my thoughts toward my son-in-law at that moment.
3. First April Fool’s joke by the same son-in- law. 1997. Salt Lake City.
There’s a knock at my door. I answer and a constable hands me a lawsuit.
I was being sued by two well-known Dallas, Texas hoods for plagiarizing a book I WROTE. They were suing me for one million dollars.
Panicked, I call my son-in-law who is a lawyer. He had his secretary tell me to come to his office. I get to his office and the secretary tells me he’s at the bank. I go to the bank and they tell me he just left and went back to his office. I run back to his office only to find out he’s gone home. Finally, one of the secretaries can contain herself no longer. “It’s an April Fool’s joke.”
I REFUSED TO BELIEVE HER.
Finally, my son-in-law walks into the office smiling.
My thought? Give the devil his due. You have to not only be smart, but sneaky clever to pull off this kind of April Fool’s joke.