I can hardly bear to place digit upon keyboard today, as I sit in utter shock over the events which took place a mere two weeks ago.  I am referring to my trip to Clayton, New York, a quaint village in the region known as “The Thousand Islands” – or so they want you to believe.  Today I am here to uncover a dastardly hoax that has been perpetrated for hundreds of years, something that will blow the lid off the tourism industry.  You see, on my visit I made a tally of the islands; and I am here to report that they are two islands short!

Not a Grudge


Mind you, this is not a grudge or anything of that nature. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. The towns in which I stopped were lovely.  The stores were charming. The restaurants offered a wide variety of cuisines at reasonable prices.

The landscape was equally charming, with its abundant fall foliage and waterfront vistas – a vacationer’s paradise!

The people were friendly, hospitable and attractive.  I was told that some celebrities often stayed there to enjoy its tranquil lifestyle.


Then why do I feel so irate? Why does the lust to expose this sinister behavior burn so deep inside of me? It’s simple: I cannot bear to live knowing that if I do not speak up, I am part of the lie.

So, today I blow the whistle. There are only 998 islands in “The Thousand Islands!”

(You may come back and read the rest later if this is too hard to take and you need to catch your breath.)


Trust me, I was thorough in my research of the matter. I looked at every sign, browsed every map, and  recorded the names of each and every bit of land, loosely called an “island,” no matter how tiny.

Wolfe Island    Galoo Island    Grenadier Island

I checked, double-checked, and re-double-checked (which is either triple-checking or quadruple-checking, depending upon how you do the math) and my results were always the same: 998.


This was not an easy task.  It took all day, and there were so many distraction along the way:

Bird Diner    Pretzel Nuggets2

The Bird Lady                            The Pretzel Nuggets Ship

Adirondack Chairs     Insert Quarter

Strange-colored Chairs                     Machines with No Slots in Them

Shut Up?

Oh, I suppose I could just shut up, keep it all bottled up inside and save them a ton of money – if word gets out (and it just might) they will have to change all their flyers and brochures, maps, business cards and stationery. And I realize that is so much easier to say “The Thousand Islands” than to say “The Nine Hundred Ninety-Eight Islands.” Those extra four syllables will probably cost them a lot of extra just in the cost of ink alone, and they might not be able to fit it on T-shirts anymore.  But is that my fault or theirs?  You tell me!

Right and Wrong

What it all boils down to is a question of right and wrong, and the degrees of honesty that are acceptable. I am not naïve. I realize that everyone lies: “Wow, this is one great Christmas present,” “No, that zit isn’t noticeable at all,” “This is the best product on the market,” “You can trust Congress – we are working for the good of the American people.” What are we willing to accept?


Oh I realize that it doesn’t make sense to be stubborn and pig-headed.  Bad things could happen like the country going broke every few months while we focus upon which Hollywood starlet has the biggest diamond rings and still hasn’t shed her pregnancy weight. That could never happen, could it?

So, I suppose that the noble thing to do in this case is to bite the bullet and strike a compromise.  After all, they could make the mathematical argument that they were just “rounding up to the closest number.”  I can accept that – as long as they refund me 0.2% of what I spent that day, the refund being equal to the 2 islands that I did not see.

Sounds fair to me.

SMILE! ( I write that in case anyone doesn’t realize it’s supposed to be funny)

About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

5 responses »

  1. Diane says:

    Very funny!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Could the other two islands have sunk or something like that? Do islands do that?

  3. Maggie/Tumbleweed says:

    Love your humor…..by the way did you use a calculator….did you write them all down? I would enjoy reviewing your research material.

    • Joe says:

      I will transfer all my calculations to a spreadsheet and publish them as soon as possible. I wouldn’t want to be accused of being inaccurate. 🙂

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