Who Are You Kidding?

Fox News reported on October 16, 2023: Bigfoot and Sasquatch: Longtime resident reveals legends, pranks after latest ‘proof’, By Chris Eberhart, October 16, 2023.

Whoa! This doesn’t hold a candle to the escape of Big Foot from Peppe Scaggolini’s (a.k.a. Joey Skaggs’) Tiny Top Circus in 2014. Hailed as the world’s only pataphysical circus, Big Foot was caged and on exhibition in Washington Square Park when it escaped and unfortunately got lost in the New York City subway system. Scaggolini is still offering a $1,000,000 reward for its capture and return.

The Steak was Real but the Restaurant was Fake

The only item on the “To Go” menu was the restaurant itself.

How NYC’s fine-dining elite got pranked by Gen Zer’s fake steakhouse — complete with milk servers, ‘celebs,’ and wedding proposal by Hannah Frishberg, September 25, 2023

This Manhattan restaurant is a tough reservation to book — because it doesn’t exist.

The foodie gentry who gathered for their dinner at Mehran’s Steakhouse this weekend believed they’d at last gotten off the years-long waitlist for a highly exclusive, 100-year-old chop house, which finally had an available table at its Lower East Side location.

In reality, what some 140 diners experienced this Saturday evening was an elaborate prank pulled off by a 21-year-old AI startup founder — and some 65 of his friends.

The practical joke of a white tablecloth institution was born during the pandemic, in 2021, when Mehran Jalali’s 16 housemates decided to commemorate the biweekly steak dinners he’d cook them by marking their Upper East Side home as a chop house on Google Maps.

The mostly teenage roomies all left glowing reviews for the newfound institution, leading to intrigued strangers showing up at their door seeking steak.

Mehran then made a website for their solidly booked, “revolutionary steak experience” and, by the end of 2022, had accrued a 2,600-person waitlist. Read the whole article here.

“Joey Skaggs: Celebrity Sperm Bank” Nominated by Burbank Film Festival

“Joey Skaggs: Celebrity Sperm Bank”, which screened at the Burbank International Film Festival on Sunday, September 24, was nominated for Best Documentary Short Film. This is the story told by Joey himself of his (a.k.a. Giuseppe Scaggolini’s) 1976 celebrity sperm bank auction which goes awry when the sperm is stolen.

The film will also screen at The NewsFest International Film and Writers Festival in LA and the Baltimore Next Media WebFest in Baltimore in early November. Dates & times TBA.

More info about the whole oral history series is here: https://joeyskaggs.com/videos/oral-histories

Where the Sun Don’t Shine

There are still places where the sun don’t shine, no matter what the sign says.

Prankster plants fake nudist sign at popular non-naked Chicago beach, by Katherine Donlevy, New York Post, September 5, 2023

This wasn’t the naked truth.

A prankster posted a fake sign on a popular Chicago beach over the holiday weekend warning that it was suddenly converted into a nudist park.

The counterfeit Parks District sign reading “Nude Beach Past This Sign” was seen wedged in the sand of Loyola Beach, which is less than a mile away from its eponymous Catholic university in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

City Alderwoman Maria Hadden posted a picture of the official-looking sign Monday, warning beachgoers not to bare it all for Labor Day.

“We’ve been notified that someone has installed this cheeky sign at Loyola Beach. Please note that this is not an official @ChicagoParks sign,” Hadden posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We’ve reported to Parks so they can remove it. As a reminder, at least some clothing is required at all of our beaches.” Read the rest of the story here.

And From a Tiny Acorn…

There’s no greater pleasure than watching something grow. This time from seeds to art.

Sowing Discord at Minnesota’s Seed Art Competition, by Isabella Segalovich, Hyperallergic, September 5, 2023

At the Minnesota State Fair, some crop artists promoted timely political messages with corn, quinoa, and flax seeds.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The longest line at the second biggest state fair in the United States wasn’t for the prize cows, roller coaster rides, or various deep-fried foods served on a stick: It was for the seed art.

The wait was worth it. Past scores of vintage seed sacks and neatly stacked corn cobs vying for Best of Show ribbons, visitors craned their necks to marvel at the bounty of intricate mosaics made completely out of seeds at the Minnesota State Fair, which ran from August 24 to September 4. While the vast majority of participating crop artists were Minnesotans, the country’s only state fair seed art competition has also graciously expanded its dozens of categories to include out-of-state competitors, as long as they stick to one rule: Every seed must be grown in Minnesota.

I was struck not just by this craft’s painstaking nature but also by the diversity of its subject matter, which ranges from impressive portraits and still lifes to timely pop culture references and biting political commentary. This year’s show included tributes to lost luminaries (Judy Heumann, Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman), hot pink Barbie memorabilia, OceanGate (“the little sub that couldn’t”), excitement over Minnesota’s marijuana legalization, displays of support for trans youth and adults, clap backs to Ron DeSantis (“Minnesota, where woke goes to bloom!”), and lots and lots of yacht-smashing orcas. Read the rest of the article here.