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When we were little, we played with a handful of kids in our neighborhood. And like many neighborhoods, we had a resident bully. His name was Jon. Jon is a few years older than my (older) brother Mark, and he was one of those kids you would describe as “brawny” rather than “brainy”.

One year on April Fool’s Day, and by the way, this is total “Patten Family Lore” right here, Jon was determined to really give Mark a scare. Instead of jumping out from behind a door or tripping him or letting the air out of Mark’s bike tires, Jon seriously informed Mark that there was an ELEPHANT on his head! *gasp*

We still laugh about it to this day. Every year, Mark gets a call or text or email from me on April 1st, informing him that the elephant is indeed back on his head.

In my head, the joke never ends, and photo ops like the one below are the stuff of dreams. This was taken on our Honeymoon in San Francisco.

By now I’m guessing you’re either fully on board with this ridiculousness or you’ve already rolled your eyes & moved on with your day.. But for those of you who stuck around, you get to see what it’s like when really dumb jokes are passed down generationally!

So we have a little stuffed elephant toy, and last year I couldn’t resist doing an elephant-on-the-head photo of (my nephew) Thomas to send Mark & Jess. The kid never, never stops moving. But look what happened to him under the magical spell of the elephant!

Motionless. I mean, he doesn’t even have an expression on his face!

This year things drastically changed, and I was dumb enough to try the elephant photo on the same day I introduced him to a new toy. My mistake.

He wanted nothing to do with it. He was actually really annoyed with me. So I had to resort to trickery.

At least we’ve retained the spirit of the day. And I have a feeling that by next year he’ll be totally up for participating if bribed.

So, Happy April Fool’s, Mark & Jess! HA, GOTCHA! Bet you were never expecting it a month and two days late!!