Years ago, I read an old newspaper account of chaos in 19th century New York City; A storm damaged many of the cages at the Central Zoo, and most of the wild animals got out. The next day or two was spent rounding up the animals, and even the mayor and the governor, who were experienced big game hunters, got involved in tracking down the rhino and the hippo and the lions and the rest of them.
A few months ago, for some reason, that story re-emerged in my memory for the first time in decades, so I went and looked it up and found out that it was a hoax. I don’t remember if I knew it was a hoax when I first read it … I think not. I think I read it in a magazine at the dentist office and never followed up on it. As stories go, it’s a great story. As hoaxes go, not so much. A bad hoax of a great story adds up to … uninteresting.
But last weeks events were neither uninteresting nor a hoax.