From as far back as Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” April has been associated with creating hoaxes and playing practical jokes and other pranks on one’s enemies or friends. April 1st is the chosen day for such mischief in the United States, but also in places like Brazil, Canada and Australia and across Europe. The intent may be to amuse, embarrass, shock or gross out the recipient of such gag gifts, and these Sacramento shops have just what is needed to fool that special someone in your life.
Grand Illusions
7704 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 944-4708
www.grandillusions.com

One of the area’s most beloved magic, costume and joke shops, Grand Illusions carries a selection of novelties sure to perk up your April Fools’ Day. Some are classic items that put the “gag” in gag gifts, including fake versions of animal poop, vomit, a three-foot rattlesnake, giant cockroaches and faux ice cubes and bagels filled with bugs. That friend with a sweet tooth will not be able to resist a piece of pretty green candy, but the sudden taste of old fish will probably be a less-than-pleasant surprise. For someone who tends to whine and complain about everything, offer up an enormous fake pacifier on April 1st. Another favorite gag is a fake wind-up butterfly that you place under a magazine or book – when someone lifts the magazine, out flies the big bug. For public embarrassment, buy the little gadget that fits on a car tailpipe. When your victim drives the car, the exhaust whistle will start shrieking and wailing.

Related: Ask An Expert: DIY Gift Ideas

Evangeline’s
113 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-2181
www.evangelines.com

People from all over the Sacramento region and beyond come to find joke gifts and startling gags at Evangeline’s in Old Sac. A gruesome, bloody hand reaches up from the grave to form the base on a “Walking Dead” table lamp. Horror fans may also enjoying spending April Fools’ Day playing with a zombie bowling set or WD dart board. If your gag gift recipient tends to enjoy happy hour just a bit too much, a high capacity wine glass that can hold a whole bottle of wine may be just the right gift. Your friend with a green thumb would doubtless be shocked to find a beaten, blood-encrusted garden gnome peeking out between their ferns and spring flowers, and a rhinestone tiara or tall, fuzzy pink flamingo hat are bound to be great pranks for someone. Pet lovers might be freaked out by a copy of the New York Times bestselling book “How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you,” and dachshund fans may prefer the wall plaque which asks “Have you seen my wiener?” Finally, check out the rack of signs warning “Beware of attack hamster,” or other threatening creatures like attack-ready lawyers, lizards, moths, Republicans or Democrats.

Absurd Entertainment
8979 Eagleson Ct.
Sacramento, CA 95826
(916) 361-3989
www.absurdentertainment.com

Anyone who watched “Saturday Night Live” in the late 1970s will remember the “land shark” skits, featuring the giant, fearsome fish knocking on doors claiming to be a Candy-gram deliveryman. Among its many services, Absurd Entertainment offers singing telegrams that will amuse, charm or embarrass, depending upon the occasion and your intent. Shock and guffaw your target at work or home with a personalized telegram sung by a construction guy, Cowboy Bob, giant sunflower, Darth Vader, Marilyn Monroe, the Hairy Fairy, a Lady in Red, Dr. Nick Rivera, a Love Bug or even Death himself. Or if you want to truly terrify them, send your April Fool a clown.

Sweet Bohemian Life
www.etsy.com

Sacramento’s Kathryn Greenwald shares her talents – and obvious sense of humor – with original screen-printed designs on clothing, wall art, pillowcases and the like. You can find a retro woman carrying a tray of cocktails proudly announcing her personal exercise program with “I’m really working out, it’s called Bacardio.” Prank your favorite vino fan with a t-shirt emblazoned with “I’m having wine for dinner. Well, it’s mostly grapes. OK, it’s all grapes. Fermented grapes. I’m having wine for dinner.” With consideration to the personality and lifestyle of the gag recipient, one of these shirts could be quite entertaining. Greenwald also does personalized and custom work.

Related: Best Wine Stores In Sacramento

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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