It started when kayaker Patty Stream saw something strange in the water. Despite the cool weather, she had hoped to spend some quiet time on the Flat River. That was interrupted when something brushed against her kayak and almost overturned it.
“I am out on the river all the time and never has something like this happened,” Stream said. She was frightened, docked her kayak and walked over to the Lowell Police Department to make a report.
Meanwhile, another man was in the river preparing for a late season Polar Bear competition. He declined to share his name but said something brushed up against him in the water. “I didn’t see it but I felt it and it didn’t feel good,” he explained.
By this time, City Manager Mike Burns had been alerted, and he met with Mayor Mike DeVore on the Riverwalk. It was clear that some creature was thrashing about just past the far island, but it was impossible to see exactly what was in the water.
“The city manager is responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the city, but since this is the weekend, it falls to the mayor to head out and see what was going on,” Burns told the crowd that was gathering. DeVore vehemently disagreed and instead encouraged everyone to wait until the police arrived.
Other city council members arrived and there was a lively discussion about whether the budget should include a water ski for the Lowell Police Department and whether department issued Speedos would also be required.
Ultimately, it was Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Baker who took action. Just as former Mayor Jim Hodges was elbowing his way to the front of the crowd and yelling, “C’mon boys, nobody lives forever!” Baker marched down the Riverwalk. “It’s ok guys,” she said. “I called the DNR, and they are sending someone.”
A short time later, Finn Sharkey, a DNR conversation officer who had been working to catalog river dust farther up the Flat River, arrived to take stock of the situation. After conferring with Burns and council members, it was decided that he could not unmoor the Showboat to investigate the strange creature.
Instead, Heather Wood-Gramza, the library branch manager, suggested flipping one of library tables over and using that as a raft. A box of old EL James books were sitting in a storage closet and those were used as flotation devices for the table. “They didn’t have much substance in them so I figured they would work perfectly,” Wood-Gramza said.
Indeed, it was successful, and Sharkey soon made his way out to the middle the Flat River to see the mysterious being. When he arrived back, everyone crowded around him as he held up what he had found.
“It’s the most perfect specimen of Aprilus Foolistis I’ve ever seen,” he said breathlessly as he displayed the creature.
April Fool’s Day!
In case it’s not clear, this is 100% Fake News. No conversation or event in this story is real, and there are no water skis or Speedos in the Lowell Police Department’s future.