criminal mastermind puts all of ypsilanti in danger

Steve Pierce, on his site this morning, posted photos of a small crododile in Ypsilnati’s Riverside Park. As Steve has a reputation for pulling April Fool’s Day pranks, most folks just assumed that he was pulling their legs. I was among them for a while. And then it occurred to me that there could be more to it, that it could be a prank within a prank. “What if,” I thought, “Steve really did let a crocodile loose in the Huron River, and then try to cover the fact by doing it on April first?” Guess what? I did some investigating online, and found that a 2.3 foot smooth-fronted caiman crocodile had in fact just been reported stolen in Norway. Now I’m seriously beginning to wonder. Is it possible that Steve is a criminal mastermind? Might he have unleased a killing machine in the pristine waters of the Huron, only to have us disregard his warnings as lighthearted leg pulling? Might he have used April Fool’s Day to cover his tracks? Is it possible that he’s laughing at us somewhere at this very moment? If so, it was incredibly well done… Even the “Detroit News” has fallen for it… Now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe he really did find oil on Water Street last year at this time… And what if the two things are connected? What if he’s released crocodiles into the river to keep people from finding his oil wells?!

[This is, of course, my April Fool’s Day submission. Steve, I am certain, did not smuggle a live crocodile all the way from Norway, only to let it loose in the mighty Huron. The thought did cross my mind, but I quickly put it aside… I just don’t see how he could have carried a live, wildly thrashing crocodile from his house to the river on his Segway.]

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  1. Posted April 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of April Fools:

    I’ve already packed my suitcase.

  2. egpenet
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    My dog and I spotted a muskrat in the Huron River today that is as big as a Hippopotamus!

    One woof from Kongo and the monster dived outta sight.

    Perhaps, THAT’S the monster critter!?

  3. Posted April 1, 2008 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Kongo or the muskrat?

  4. Mr. X
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I saw Ed dumping a bucket of piranha into Ford Lake once. I was on my bike and I asked him about it. He said not to worry, that they’d only eat the zebra mussels.

  5. Publius
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Global warming is real. April fools.

  6. Terry
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The croc didn’t fight Steve on the segway ride because he tased it.

  7. Ol' E Cross
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Once again Steve has demonstrated his limitless energy and ingenuity when it comes to deceiving the citizens of Ypsilanti.

    (Sorry Steve, it was just too easy to pass up. Congrats on pulling it off.)

  8. Posted April 2, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    don’t see how he could have carried a live, wildly thrashing crocodile

    He didn’t have to. It’s a little known fact: crocodiles can competently ride Segways after only five minutes of practice; the smooth electric glide reminds them of floating lazily in water.

    But the crocodile in Riverside Park was indeed a fake. It was meant to distract attention from Steve’s real project of the day – the Woodward Street Inter-special Segway Drag-racing Championship. His Norwiegan caiman crocodile was trailing one of Peter Thomason’s Mini-Nubian-Nigerian-Dwarf goats for the first few blocks, but managed to close the gap by Adams Street. The race was called a draw at that point, because, once the croc caught up with the goat, neither of them made it much further.

  9. Stan
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I staked a small house cat to the riverbank about an hour ago. As of five minutes ago, he’s still there. His owner gets home at 5:30, so I’ve only got two more hours to flush out the croc.

  10. Hillary
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I heard that you can buy cats from the county shelter for such purposes.

  11. Posted April 2, 2008 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Hillary, I think the shelter makes you sign something saying that the animals won’t be used for experimentation. I think this is pretty clearly “experimentation”, especially if we want to be able to make any claims about statistical significance. “The housecat disappeared, replaced by a bloody smear on the riverbank. However, that could have just been coincidence. We will now proceed with 30 more trials.”

    p.s. Stan, please return my cat. kthx.

  12. Hillary
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Murph: Is fishing a form of experimentation? I thought we were looking to make stew and wallets. (I also heard that you can get funding through MEDC for this.)

  13. mark
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Hillary, I hear this guy is pretty good at acquiring cats for such purposes.

  14. Ol' E Cross
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    If the croc can help persuade dog owners to keep their beasts on a lease in Riverside Park, I’m all for it.

    If a few cats have to be sacrificed to help send the message, well then, all the better.

    (Disclaimer: The above comment posted by someone who has been attacked by dogs, is allergic to cats, but remains delusional enough to think he could wrestle a crocodile.)

  15. JMeyer
    Posted April 3, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I thought the story was a crock at first, but when I read the responses given by the city officials and the ordinance officer it became far more credible!

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