So, I was doing that thing I do where I look through local websites in order to have something good to blog about, when I saw a headline on Fucked in Park Slope: “An Open Letter to the Couple Who Shit In a Pot Just to Live in Park Slope.” My immediate response was, Disgusting. But, yes, that sounds about right. I mean, people will do a lot of crazy shit—including, probably, shitting in crazy places—in order to live in a nice neighborhood. My only skepticism came from the fact that, well, Park Slope isn’t that great, but whatever. I could totally see this story as being true.
Until, that is, I clicked on the link to the Daily Mail article that was the source for the FiPS post and realized two things. One, that it was all a mistake. There is, in fact, no couple in Park Slope living in an apartment for $300/month without a toilet. Which, honestly, even with no toilet, still seems like a steal to me. And two, this Daily Mail writer is a total idiot who has never checked a source in his/her life. I have to say his/her instead of being specific because the byline on the post is just “Daily Mail Reporter.”
But so anyway, the reason that this anonymous “Daily Mail Reporter” is a total idiot is because the source that he/she cites is a parody post on The Hairpin, written by Edith Zimmerman. I mean, ok, I can understand that maybe they don’t have The Onion over in England but I’m pretty confident that people from the country that birthed—out of its own bloody loins—Monty Python, can comprehend the humor going on in The Hairpin post. And even though there is no literal disclaimer in the post itself to signify that it’s not 100% true, the commenters on The Hairpin were quick enough to pick up on the fact that this was a joke. True, the commenter community on The Hairpin is particularly intelligent, but even so. It shouldn’t take a genius to figure this out.
Besides the obvious hilarity of this story getting passed around as being real, though, is the underlying dark truth that while maybe the reporter at The Daily Mail doesn’t really know what life is like in Park Slope, and so can be swayed by parody, even FiPS believed this to be a real story. Which means that Park Slope is actually a place where maybe it would be understandable to shit in a pot in order to live in the PS 321 school zone. Which means that, even though we avoided the Mayan apocalypse for now, the world is still doomed.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut in “Mother Night,” “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
Also in that novel, Vonnegut wrote, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.” So, basically, he was writing the truth.
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