A conspiracy theory claiming the world is being secretly controlled by giant ornamental carp has gained popularity among Blacktip Islanders, causing some island officials to voice concerns about public safety.
“We started hearing rumblings about someone or something called ‘Koi’ a while back,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “Then the posters and decals and shirts just exploded the last few weeks. Apparently, the idea’s some secret carp network called Koi-Anon is controlling everything from some watery hideout.
“Overnight we’ve got ‘where we carp one, we carp all’ getting spray painted all over everything,” Cobia said. “And anyone who criticizes Koi or questions anything gets whacked with a mackerel. Things are getting out of hand, fast.”
Adherents say the movement represents hope for the future.
“Koi’s the World Carp, and the Earth is balanced on his back,” Lee Helm said. “He’s been pulling strings for a while, people just didn’t notice it. Koi knows everything, and he’s gonna save us all. Soon.
“He’s our new overlord, and I couldn’t be happier,” Helm said. “He’s going to swallow up the fish perverts and conch worshipers and . . . well . . . anyone not like me. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t. It’s a question of faith. And patience.”
Others scoffed at the idea.
“People on this island have been cooped up way too long. They’ve gone bug-nutty,” Blacktip Haven resort owner Elena Havens said. “Lee Helm in particular’s always carping about something, but the others just went off the deep end overnight. There’s zero proof of any of this, and none of their predictions come true. But that just makes their beliefs stronger.”
Some residents have remained open minded.
“For all I know, maybe there are giant carps controlling things,” Antonio Fletcher said. “Stranger things have happened. Maybe that’s why everybody’s acting so crazy. Some people are even out hunting carps. Others are trying to protect them. Only we don’t have carps on Blacktip, so I’m not sure where they could be hiding.”
Believers were nonplussed by the criticism.
“The carps you can find here aren’t the giant Koi ones. Those are down deep where you can’t get at them,” Alison Diesel said. “And, sure, nothing’s happened yet. But that’s because that’s the way Koi wants it—this shows who the real believers are.”
Island authorities, meanwhile, have warned all concerned about public disturbances.
“Mackerel-whackings will not be tolerated,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Any mackerel-based aggressions will be treated, and prosecuted, as armed assaults. Also, all spray paint has been seized from the store and will be held at the island jail until folks return to what passes for sanity on this island.
“And no, I don’t believe a giant koi carp is gonna swallow me up and spit me out in Gitmo,” he said. “Not even ‘Tonio believes that, and that should tell you all you need to know.”