By Eric Jackson

Man with a shoe in his mouth surrounded by dogs.

Each year I do some kind of weird April Fools joke and while it is amusing to some people it seems to get 80% of the people by surprise and it causes too much grief to continue this tradition. This year I have decided that I would focus on the 80% and give them what they really want, instead of creating more confusion. The 20% who seem to sniff out my April Fools Joke and like the humor will be bummed, but I figure it is time to switch it up.

This year instead of writing a blog on April Fools day, early in the morning and trying to pass it off as a real article, I am going to do a real article and try to pass it off like an April Fools Day joke.

OK Here we go: Below are true current events that you might think are April Fools. Don’t be fooled.

So- we tested a prototype class 5 racing kayak in flatwater and class 2. The youngest tester was in his mid 40’s.

I fished all day today in the Bassmaster Open Event and only caught 4 fish yet Bassmaster did an article on me today, lucky or good?

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My newest Book Rolling and Bracing’s cover shot is of me falling over with my hands high over my head… The book is very well done but the cover shot is a random photo the publisher chose.

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Steve Fisher and I drank a bottle of whiskey, while sitting in my hot-tub and planned out our next adventure- paddling and sailing our Krakens (Fishing kayaks) from Florida to the Bahamas, against the Gulf Stream. Hobie thought is was so stupid that he wanted to do it too. It will be a feature length film.

I just got my new Ranger Z521c Bass boat with a 250 hp motor on the back of it, Raymarine’s newest electronics ($10,000 worth)- $85,000 boat, less than six months ago. It is now available for sale by owner (me)- I am selling it for only $65,000, a steal.

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Nick and Emily are now building a house on my property because the house they owned was almost 10 minutes away and the commute was too much for them.

My landcruiser was purchased for $10 from David Knight in 2002 and I still drive it today.

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I have been in jail 5 times.

1 time for suspended license driving with Kristine, who was only 18 years old at the time on New Year’s Eve. And another time the day before a big kayak race on the Ocoee for criminal trespassing (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree).

1 time for being suspected to be a kayaking terrorist and while I was released from my handcuffs, it was at the put- in of the World Cup Race on the Ocoee and I was delivered to the starting line in the back of a police car, with my slalom kayak sticking out of his truck. The international racers were scared of me after that.

1 time for not paying my ticket for being a terrorist.

1 time for being accused of not paying my ticket for being a terrorist after the judge excused me from having to pay in full.

I have a world record for the only kayaker to be accused of being a terrorist while running class 3 whitewater in a slalom boat wearing a bib and competing in the world cup on the USA Team in America. (No russian, czech, or other eastern block countries who were considered capable of terrorism in the 90’s were accused, only an American). I am a family man.

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My first excel spread sheet was designed for my full time job, begging for money for kayaking. I wanted to keep track of my ratio between how many doors I knocked on to ask for a donation for my training and racing expenses, how many people said yes, and then how many people sent me money and the amount they sent to keep an average. I averaged 12 doors/hour, 10 “yes” answers/hour, 4 people who got my self-addressed envelope actually sent money in out of the 10. The average check was $21.67 for an average of over $80/hour. Dane was named based on one of the guys who said “yes” to supporting my slalom racing and told me his name was “dane”. I said- “I’ll name my son after you if you send me money.” Dane would have been named Oliver had I not met that guy knocking on doors.

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Kristine’s mom said to me “you are going to have a brown haired, brown eyed Dane?” I made a blond haired, blue eye boy to match his name. Nuff said.

Dane relaxing after a long day

My 7 year old boy. Kristine thought of a good name- Casey. Her mom asked me what we were going to name him. I said, Casey.

She looked at me like she didn’t hear me. I said “Casey” like Casey and the Sunshine Band. She said- “Eric, you know that Casey and the Sunshine Band is spelled “K C and the Sunshine Band”, not c a s e y. I said, “Oh, Awesome! That is how we’ll spell it!” His birth certificate says “KC Jackson” That is all.

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Kristine has yet to let me name my boys Sir Finn Jackson. This is my first choice of boy names. Obviously. First off, they are born Knighted. Secondly, surfing is amazing and so are they.

OK-that is enough of the “No more April Fools” to appease the 80% of the population out there that are somehow always shocked by my April Fools Jokes. I did my “non-april fools” article full of only truths and nothing false on April 1st.

Finally- I have been lifting weights and you can find me holding up my Mini-Cooper with one hand while considering breaking a bottle of wine over it.

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Thanks for reading and understanding.

:)

EJ