The city says it never unleashed opossums to curb southern Brooklyn’s rat population. But who says facts have to get in the way of a good urban legend? Here are some of our other favorite local “myths”:
• On March 22, 1940, a disgruntled transit worker jumped off the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building and landed on several sides of beef being unloaded from a truck. The man was only slightly bruised. The meat was very tenderized.
• On Halloween, 1977, a Satan-worshipper from Queens stole a Bensonhurst cat for use in a bizarre ritual that involved dry ice. The cat clawed the man in the eyes, he stumbled, and in the confusion, fell in the vat of liquid nitrogen — spawning the phrase “cool cat.”
• The reason that there are no oysters in the Gowanus Canal anymore is not because of the pollution but because of a pair of ravenous, genetically mutated humpback angler fish, who have devoured all the native mollusks and have moved on to eating the support structures of the Union Street and Carroll Street bridges.
• On the anniversary of the Revolutionary War Battle of Brooklyn, the statue of Minerva in Green-Wood Cemetery shed a single tear as the clock strikes midnight. Hundreds flock to the cemetery each year to see the miracle.
— Gary Buiso