Shock and awe reigned in downtown College Park this morning, when a dead hippopotamus was discovered wedged in the floorboards at R.J. Bentley’s Filling Station. Evidence indicated it had been there for decades.
“It was absolutely disgusting,” said John Brown, owner of the local bar. “Really, I never saw this coming. There was no constant in that bar that made me think, something vile is under the floorboards. I’m in total shock.”
R.J. Bentley’s is one of the oldest local businesses in College Park, originally opening as a gas station in 1928. It has maintained a strong and loyal customer base through its affiliations with Maryland athletics, and particularly with ESPN commentator Scott Van Pelt, a university alumnus who popularized the phrase, “Let’s go to Bentley’s!”
With the closing of Santa Fe, the Mark, and eventually the Thirsty Turtle, Bentley’s and Cornerstone Grill & Loft have experienced a higher level of clientele. As the bars became overcrowded on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, more and more students began to suspect something was being overlooked at Bentley’s.
“It smelt terrible,” said Chad Killian, a student and frequent attendant of the bar. “Like dead, moldy, slimy, beer soaked a—hole.”
The comparison was not too far off. Indeed, Bentley’s discovered a dead hippopotamus underneath their floorboards while redoing the floors during the Summer break.
“I still don’t get how it could have gotten in there, or how it had been there all this time without someone sensing it one way or another,” said Brown.
The investigation is ongoing as to how the hippo could have gotten into the floor. Hippos have been to College Park before on zoology exhibitions, but not for many decades.
A hazmat team cleared the mess this morning, dropping the hippo in a compost bin by the South Campus Diner, per request of UMD for Clean Energy. The effect on the bar appeared to be instantaneous.
“It smelt like roses dipped in chocolate. With perfume. And fresh cupcakes,” said Killian.
Pepé Le Pew contributed to this report.
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