• That's the Last Time I Plan an Art Heist on Facebook Events

    By Bizzy Coy

    Published April 24, 2017 in Vulture
    Link to original
  • Alphonse, Natasha and Mister Fingers,


    I write this letter with a heavy heart. I thought we were friends—no, more than friends. Co-conspirators. That’s why I’m shaking my head, wondering why didn’t you come to the art heist I put together on Facebook Events.


    I know we usually arrange our capers through a series of secret meetings and encrypted pigeon-posts, but I thought we should get with the times. That’s why I logged into Facebook and painstakingly created “Let’s Get Heisty - Top Secret!!,” to take place at the Brooklyn Museum under cover of darkness. It was ten times easier and less stinky than using the dumpster drop point behind the Chelsea Olive Garden. Boy, when I clicked that “Create Event” button, I was on top of the world. I haven’t felt that good since we lifted Henri Rousseau’s “Scout attacked by a Tiger” from The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.


    I woke up the next morning expecting to be positively inundated with witty replies and encouraging messages. Imagine my surprise when you, my purported partners in crime, left me hanging. Alphonse, you insultingly clicked “Interested” instead of “Going.” Natasha, you complained that you didn’t want to go into Brooklyn on a weeknight. And Mister Fingers, you didn’t respond until an hour before our designated meeting time: “already in sweatpants, sorry :(” I felt like a… well, like a Scout attacked by a Tiger.


    Seriously? Are we even accomplices anymore? You didn’t even react to the photos I uploaded of our targets: Claude Monet’s “Les Iles à Port-Villez,” Mary Cassatt’s “Mother Combing Her Child's Hair,” John Singer Sargent’s “The Bridge of Sighs.” Would you have preferred a cat GIF instead?


    I guess the bigger problem is that I spend all day validating your social media activity and I get nothing in return. Take today, for example. Alphonse, I liked the article you posted about the recent round of budget cuts at the FBI Art Theft Program. Natasha, I shared your photo of the mass-produced wall art you boosted from Panera Bread. And Mister Fingers, I wrote “Happy Birthday” on your wall, even though I’m pretty sure your birthdate is made up and Mister Fingers isn’t your real name.


    Yet, my phone is as quiet as Natasha shimmying through a heating vent. No notifications, no comments, no shares. Nothing. Talk about a Bridge of Sighs! You didn’t even like my genius plan to bypass the Brooklyn Museum’s alarm system with the help of Bonnie, a two-faced security guard (no cubism pun intended, unless that’s what it takes to hold your attention). I spelled it all out in the Facebook Event Details, from the ductwork schematic to the video surveillance layout. I even—thoughtfully, I might add—included a map of nearby restrooms, because Alphonse always gets nervous and has to pee.


    What I’m saying is, committing a federal crime is more fun with your friends, and you guys aren’t acting much like friends right now.


    Not to mention, all three of you blatantly ignored my second invitation to the post-heist after-party at the safe house on Staten Island. Don’t try to tell me it got lost in Messenger or that “Facebook’s being weird today.” I already bought SunChips and a bottle of Barefoot chardonnay, and I was prepared to spring for pizza. But, no response from any of you, or our black market art buyer. I know him through Instagram, though, so my expectations were tempered.


    It’s not like you don’t understand how Facebook Events work. Alphonse, my newsfeed tells me that you’re going to “Nervous Urinators Anonymous” this Saturday. Natasha, you yourself made an event called “Panera Bread Boycott - Bring Back Free Cookies with Express Kiosk Orders.” And Mister Fingers, I see that just last week you went on a “Guggenheim Field Trip.” Wait a minute. Did you bail on my heist for another heist?


    Sorry if I’m being needy, but if you can’t be socially validated by your own crime ring, who can you be socially validated by?


    I admit, it’s not totally your fault. I accept full responsibility for adding Bonnie the Two-Faced Security Guard to the guest list. In my excitement, I didn’t realize her RSVP would show up in her museum co-workers’ newsfeeds, and that they’d alert the feds about my villainous intentions. If you read my series of escalating Facebook updates (did you?), you know what happened next.


    Okay, time to go. I’m organizing a shakedown of the prison commissary, if anyone bothers to show up.


    P.S. You’re not invited.