Living in Brooklyn, one is often reminded that life is sometimes cruel and unusual—a joke that maybe you’re the butt of, a theatre of the absurd in which you’re an unwitting player. If your spiraling rent doesn’t make you question what it’s all for, the “Brooklyn Girls” video will. 2014 is the year that The Brooklyn Condition™ became terminal, when things that we thought were real turned out to be hoaxes, and aspects of life that seemed truly preposterous were, unfortunately, all too real. So, with melancholic resignation, let’s relive the dumbest of the dumb, shall we?
MYSTERIES & HOAXES
Let’s start at the bottom. At 1:14 on the morning of September 25th, the New York Post dropped a hot exclusive on the ‘net. “Zoo in coverup after groundhog dropped by de Blasio dies,” went the headline. The story reported that Chuck, a groundhog then living in the Staten Island Zoo, died of internal injuries after Mayor Bill de Blasio fumbled him at a Groundhog Day event. The Post alleged that zoo officials then went to “great lengths” to keep the death a secret. Their presumably months-long investigation revealed that zoo staff were told to “keep the mayor’s office in the dark about the animal’s fate.” What’s more: sources told the Post that Chuck was actually a female “impostor” named Charlotte.
Is nothing real?
Penelope, the pregnant tarantula that was reported to be on the loose in South Slope this summer, wasn’t real. In July, after “missing” posters started appearing for the “mostly harmless” Mexican red rump tarantula, people in the neighborhood started freaking out. Turns out it was all one guy’s idea of a joke. “I thought, ‘What’s the most absurd poster I could come up with?'” the mastermind told the New York Times. “I thought it was so beyond ridiculous that no one would take it seriously. I was wrong.”
Although we solved the riddle of who stole the American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced them with white flags, other mysteries remain unsolved: Who scattered severed goat heads around Prospect Park? Who lost their bag of snakes in Boerum Hill? And who (or what) is the Green-Wood Cemetery clown?