Part 1 of a Series

By Trudy Capoman
Staff Writer

A lengthy investigation by this publication has revealed that Lake Como has been in the grip of a major brain drought for the past several years.

It has also been learned that the current governing body has been actively attempting to cover-up the situation.

Mike, a local resident who wanted only his first name used said, “They’re dry, man…bone dry. They’ve been running on empty for a long time. Anyone who’s paid attention could see it. Man, I wish I was in the red flag business, I’d be rich now, cause’ there’s been lots of em’ goin‘ up”.

 “It’s not easy keeping ‘it’ hidden“, said a borough official who wished to remain anonymous “When you run out of brains, keeping that fact a secret can be problematic. Think about it, a lack of brains impedes the ability to come up with ways to hide that same lack of brains. I’ve seen brain droughts before but, never as bad as this. This one’s a doozy.”

He continued, “Basically, they have been slinking by on obfuscation, denials and, when all else fails, prevarication. Bad decisions are blamed on others…finger pointing is a favorite tactic. Putting out misinformation is common. And, bullying, they love to bully.”

While the brain drought seems to have affected all parts of town, the worst hit section appears to be the area in and around Borough Hall.

For many residents, one of the first signs that trouble was brewing was when the town launched an unprovoked attack on man’s best friend. Citing no logical rationale, canines were suddenly banned from enjoying the grassy area around the town’s namesake lake with their owners.

The towns of Belmar and Spring Lake which also border the lake, have no such bans. (When asked to comment for this article, officials of both towns expressed puzzlement over Lake Como’s actions and assured their residents that no such bans were in the works in either town.) “That was the wake up call for me, when they went after our dogs” said dog owner, Rex Helmsley. “I mean, who doesn’t like dogs? That’s just unAmerican.” Red flag number one.

Another issue that has some residents on edge is the annual setting off of fireworks at the lakeside, a well-populated area. Our investigation has found that for several years now the town has mysteriously been able to circumvent commonsense fire safety laws so as to allow fireworks to be launched and exploded dangerously close to domiciles. Local resident, Justin Case, expressed concern, “I love fireworks, I really love them. But, just a few feet from my home? No, bad idea…real bad…get those away from my house!”  

In past years, witnesses have reported glowing skyrocket embers falling to the ground thereby forcing local firefighters to fan out on foot and search nearby backyards for any potential hotspots. Another major red flag

For residents who still retained their wits, the fallout from the lack of brains reached a fever pitch with a colossally mishandled fiasco on Parkway. As part of an ill-conceived plan to relocate the town‘s sewage pump station to the heart of a residential area, the town, acting in conjunction with the South Monmouth Regional Sewage Authority, unveiled a scheme to destroy every old-growth tree on Parkway. Such a plan would turn the loveliest street in Lake Como into the ugliest street in town. In that episode, the absence of brains could no longer be denied…or ignored. Residents protested passionately. Anti-pump station yard signs went up and battle lines were drawn.

For the town, baseless finger-pointing became the defensive ploy of the day. “Their standard operating procedure became saying things like, ‘It’s not our decision’ and ‘It’s a done deal’…things of that nature.” said one resident. “This used to be a great little town. But, without brains anymore, we’re becoming a hamlet of buffoons with a steadily deteriorating quality of life. We’ve become a laughing stock.”

In the end, commonsense and informed logic lost. The trees were removed and where a house once stood, a diesel-powered pump now runs endlessly, filling the surrounding area with noise and air pollution. The neighborhood has been devastated.

Our anonymous source explained, “The brain drought hasn’t stricken everyone in town. There are still pockets of intelligence scattered around Lake Como but, they are outnumbered. Those whose brains have withered have the upper hand. As we have seen recently on a national level, in today’s political climate, stupid trumps smart…and that’s a damn shame…for everyone. Now that the truth is out, hopefully some outside agency will step in and find the cause of the drought and fix it before more damage is done.”


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