HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT. As Maureen slipped out of bed, careful not to disturb her partner, she was thinking about what day it was. The day she hated, when she always got fooled by someone. “Well not today!” She thought to herself. After having her shower and getting dressed, she headed up the street to do some shopping. “ Wearing an overcoat and dark glasses, she immediately spotted several friends in the supermarket who always managed to prank her. Maureen slipped down behind the banana counter before they could see her. Peering out from behind the counter, she realised someone was looking at her. The shop assistant stood looking at her with a quizzical look on her face. “Are you okay Ma’am?” Can I help you with anything?” Maureen felt her face flush. “N- n- no thanks, I dropped my earring. Aha, there it is!” She jumped up, smiled at the young girl, and continued on her way. “ Heading towards the bread section her neighbour was right in front of her. Maureen grabbed a large loaf of bread from the shelf, pulled her coat up around her ears, and pretended to be studying the label on the bread, as she held it within two inches from her face. She felt someone looking at her, again. “Can I help you with something Ma’am? Wouldn’t you be better off without the dark glasses on?” “I beg your pardon! How dare you! I have sore eyes, I need to wear these glasses!” With that she shoved the bread back on the shelf and flounced down the aisle. “ Maureen had one last thing to get before she left. Looking around to make sure nobody was watching, she slunk towards the milk cabinet at the back of the store. Just as she reached the milk section she spotted her friend from writing class heading towards her. Maureen opened the glass door and shoved her whole head into the cabinet, her nose almost touching the bottles of cold milk. She stood there as she watched her friend go past, out of the corner of her eye. As she looked back towards the bottles of milk she could see a pair of eyes looking at her from behind the milk shelf. The dairy assistant was looking at her very strangely. “Please don’t leave the door open too long Ma’am, you’re letting the cold air out!” “Sorry, I was just checking the ingredients, up close.” She grabbed the bottle of milk, dropped it in her trolley and took off. “ “What are you talking about!” She berated herself for saying such a stupid thing. Maureen quickly paid for her groceries and headed out to her car. “Excuse me Ma’am, would you mind letting me have a look in your bag?” “What? Why?” The large bouncer who usually stood in the doorway was right beside her. “You’ve been acting a little strange Ma’am, so just making sure you have nothing to hide.” Maureen had never felt so humiliated in her life. She tried to hide her face as customers walked past her giggling. After checking her handbag and a quick look in her car the bouncer was satisfied she hadn’t stolen anything. “Thank you Ma’am, you can be on your way now.” “ Maureen arrived home without incident, parked her car in the garage, and headed inside. Her partner helped her unpack her groceries. “You’re very quiet today?” “I’m sorry, I’m a bit nervy today. I might sit down and read for an hour or two, just to soothe my nerves.” “Sure, you do that, I’ll make you a nice cuppa.” Henry was a little worried about Maureen, especially after he got a call from their neighbour, telling him all about the bouncer checking her bags. “ “How did your shopping go? Did you run into anyone you knew? You usually have a chat with someone in the supermarket.” “What is this, 20 questions? No, I didn’t run into anyone, okay?” Realising he was being told to mind his own business, Henry declined to say anything else about her shopping trip. He was sure she would tell him eventually about what happened. “ Maureen sat and read for an hour, did some housework and started to put tea on. Waiting for tea to cook, she watched the local news. “A local has videoed the strangest thing at the supermarket.” The announcer said with a huge grin on his face. “This customer said she was checking the ingredients in the milk! Well let’s all hope it only said “milk” on there, folks!” With that he went into gaels of laughter. “ Maureen dropped the egg lifter on the floor, as she stared at the TV, watching herself with her head in the milk cabinet. She flushed from head to toe, and sat down heavily on the kitchen chair. “What have I done!” Her partner came into the kitchen and stood looking at her. He had been watching the news on the TV in the lounge-room. “Was that you on that video? Why would you be doing such a stupid thing? You realise everyone will know it was you?” “ Maureen looked at him, then burst into tears. “I’m sorry, I was just trying not to let anyone prank me, so I tried to disguise myself, and hide from them!” “Prank you? Today is April the 2nd Maureen. Yesterday was April Fools Day!” The realization that she had been through all that humiliation for nothing sent her into more tears. “ “Okay, come on, it’s not that bad. You’ve given us all something to laugh about for months to come, so that’s good, we all need a good laugh now and then.” Henry was right, after a little humiliation she actually enjoyed relating her story to her friends, and sending them into fits of laughter. They were even nicer than usual and thought it was great that she could laugh at herself. After all she had gone through to avoid being pranked by her friends, she had actually pranked herself! “ The following year she didn’t try to avoid being pranked. They all fooled her, several times, but she actually enjoyed it. After all, they would only try to prank their best friends, and only in the nicest ways. Maureen made sure she pranked them as well, but she would always remember the day she hid her head in the fridge, wearing a long coat and dark glasses! So did everyone else!