After a three year long investigation, the Shady Dealer has concluded that the firehouse located on 55th Street between University and Woodlawn Avenues is not what it appears to be. No, the building is in fact not a firehouse at all, but rather a police station in disguise. Proving to be one of the greatest cover-ups of all time, the entire Hyde Park community is shocked that the wool was pulled right over our gullible, gullible eyes. The whole thing is a front.
The clues were obvious from the get go: the building is only one floor high, suggesting they don’t have a fire-pole. No authentic firehouse is complete without a pole. We surveyed students and not one reported ever seeing a Dalmatian walk in or out or even near the building. Worst of all, the building barely even smells like a fire.
The longer you spend working this hoax out, the more it becomes crystal clear just how easily the police accomplished this grand-scheme hocus pocus. They didn’t even have to get a fake phone number—they just kept their classic 9-1-1. Given the city of Chicago’s worrisome history with fire (for example, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871), residents were easily sympathetic to the cause and welcomed the firehouse with open arms. Nobody suspected a thing.
Why would this happen? What would prompt the police to run this horrible scam? The answer is simple: everybody loves firefighters and everyone hates the police. When people see a firefighter dressed in an obscenely heavy suit that takes roughly 18 hours to put on, topped off with a practical supply of oxygen, anyone with a brain on their shoulders wants to kiss that hero and marry the hell out of them. When people see a police officer, however, with their navy blue uniform and no protection from extreme heat, all most people want to do is bottle up their spit for several months just to pour it all over those pigs.
The police presence in Hyde Park is already grotesque (everyone agrees on this, this isn’t even satire, pretend you’re reading The Maroon, not us, the Shady Dealer). So it makes sense that the police wouldn’t want to be criticized for yet another massive panopticon right next to campus. So they took their building and painted it red and built incredibly realistic cardboard fire trucks around their police cars. They even splurged on real hoses.
“Come to think of it, I’ve never even heard of a fire happening near here recently. I sort of assumed all the firefighters just sat around playing Uno all day,” chimed in first year Enthony Twindle. “But now it all makes sense—they never fought fires or played Uno, they just were cops who were too ashamed to dress like it. And we were all bamboozled.”
Following this humiliating unmasking, the police from the “firehouse” have been booed out of town, and neighbors filled up the building with 101 Dalmatians. But the masquerade ball doesn’t end at midnight—we’ve just received a tip that the entirety of Harper Court is, yep you guessed it, not an officially sanctioned court of law.