NEW YORK—At 4:32 p.m. Tuesday, every single resident of New York City decided to evacuate the famed metropolis, having realized it was nothing more than a massive, trash-ridden hellhole that slowly sucks the life out of every one of its inhabitants.
With audible murmurs of "This is no way to live," "What the hell am I doing here—I hate it here," and "Fuck this place. Fuck this horrible place," all 8.4 million citizens in each of the five boroughs packed up their belongings and told reporters they would rather blow their brains out with a shotgun than spend another waking moment in this festering cesspool of filth and scum and sadness.
By 5:15 p.m. there was gridlock traffic on the outbound sides of the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and the area's three major airports were flooded with New Yorkers, all of whom said they wanted to go anyplace where the pressure of 20 million tons of concrete wasn't constantly suffocating them.
"I always had this perverted sense of pride because I was managing to scrape by here," said Brooklyn resident Andrew McQuade, who, after watching two subway rats gnawing on a third bloody rat carcass, finally determined that New York City was a giant sprawling cancer. "Well, fuck that. I don't need to pay $2,000 a month to share a doghouse-sized apartment with some random Craigslist dipshit to prove my worth. I want to live like a goddamn human being."
"You see this?" added McQuade, pointing at a real estate listing for a duplex in Hagerstown, MD. "Two bedrooms, two baths, a den—a fucking den—and a patio. Twelve hundred a month. That's total, not per person."
According to residents, the mass exodus was triggered by a number of normal, everyday New York City events. For Erin Caldwell of Manhattan, an endlessly honking car horn sent her over the edge, causing her to go into a blind rage and scream "shut up!" at the vehicle as loud as she could until her voice went hoarse; for Danny Tremba of Queens it was being cursed at for walking too slow; and for Paul Ogden, also of Queens, it was his overreaction to somebody walking too slow.
Other incidents that prompted citizens to pick up and leave included the sight of garbage bags stacked 5 feet high on the sidewalk; the realization that being alone among millions of anonymous people is actually quite horrifying; a blaring siren that droned on and fucking on; muddy, refuse-filled puddles that have inexplicably not dried in three years; the thought of growing into a person whose meanness and cynicism is cloaked in a kind of holier-than-thou brand of sarcasm that the rest of the world finds nauseating; and all the goddamn people.
In addition, 3 million New Yorkers reportedly left the city because they realized the phrase "Only in New York" is actually just a defense mechanism used to convince themselves that seeing a naked man take a shit on a park bench is somehow endearing, or part of some shared cultural experience.
"I was sitting on my stoop, drinking coffee, and out of nowhere this crazy-looking woman just starts screaming, 'I am inside all of you,' over and over," Bronx resident Sarah Perez, 37, said. "Then, we both had this moment where we looked at each other and realized, okay, we have to get out of here."
"This place sucks," Manhattan resident Woody Allen, 74, told reporters. "It just fucking sucks."
When fleeing New Yorkers were asked if they would miss the city's iconic landmarks, most responded that Central Park is just a pathetic excuse for experiencing actual nature, that the Brooklyn Bridge is great but it's just a fucking bridge, that nobody goes to the Met anyway, and that living in a dingy, grime-caked apartment while exhaust fumes from an idling truck seep through your bedroom window isn't worth slightly bigger bagels.
"This is no place to raise a kid, that's for sure," said 32-year-old Brandon Rushing, a lifelong New Yorker. "I grew up here and I turned into a giant asshole. Why would I want that for my son?"
"Plus, we're the place most likely to get nuked by a dirty bomb in a terrorist attack," he added. "So that's great. Also, it smells like shit here, and I'm not exaggerating. You'll just be walking around and it starts smelling like human shit, and it just fills your nostrils and you breathe in shit for like 20 seconds."
Before departing by private helicopter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke with members of the media to address the situation.
"You know what the greatest city in the world is?" Bloomberg asked reporters. "Scottsdale, Arizona. It's clean, it's not too big, it's got a couple streets with shops and restaurants, and the people there aren't fucking insane. This place is fucking insane. And by the way, that's not a reason to like it. Anyone who says that is a delusional dirtbag."
By Tuesday night, New York was completely abandoned. At press time, however, some 10 million Los Angeles–area residents, tired of their self-centered, laid-back culture and lack of four distinct seasons, and yearning for the hustle and bustle of East Coast life, had already begun repopulating the city.