A recent sign hanging in the window of The Computer Shop on Main Street in Amagansett had many of the hamlet’s residents feeling a little less “chill” than usual.
A giant marijuana leaf adorned with a caduceus, accompanied by the words, “High Point Dispensary, Coming Soon,” printed on brown paper, hung front and center of the store on November 13, leaving passersby with more than a few questions.
“I was surprised, to say the least” Bill DiScipio, an Amagansett resident and psychologist at Fighting Chance, said by phone a week after the sign appeared. “I didn’t actually see it but my daughter had passed by and told me it looked like a medical marijuana distributor, so that’s all I could think was going on there.”
Mr. DiScipio seemed even more surprised when he was told the sign was, in fact, a hoax by the store’s manager, Lee Satinsky.
“That’s hilarious,” said Mr. DiScipio, laughing over the phone. “I was amazed that there hadn’t been any press about it or that the town hadn’t come in.”
And while East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell said he wasn’t aware of the sign, which only made an appearance in the window for less than 24-hours, other residents were well aware and not happy about it.
“People in Montauk were really pissed,” said Mr. Satinsky, who is also President of the Amagansett Chamber of Commerce. “They thought it was real. Another woman came in and told us she was going to have to move because of all of the junkies.”
But some, said Mr. Satinsky, were on cloud nine about the idea.
“Another guy came in and was like, ‘when do you guys open?’, so we told him it was a joke, and he goes ‘I don’t believe you. I want to work here. I’ll work for free.’”
So why ruffle the feathers of the year-rounders in the tiny hamlet? For no other reason than a good laugh, according to the shop’s owner.
“It’s a joke,” said Mr. Satinsky. “We don’t leave them up for more than a day. Anything more than that isn’t fun anymore.”
Mr. Satinsky is far from a stranger to the world of pranks, previously decorating the storefront in paper Whole Foods bags, with a sign stating “Coming Spring 2014,” and prior to that, a McDonalds Express sign took up shop in the store’s window.
“Every now and then people come in and say ‘isn’t this supposed to be a Whole Foods?’” he said. “I figured we’d do Whole Foods because the building was being sold and there was a For Sale sign outside so it just made it worse. When we did the McDonalds one though, I downloaded a picture of the McDonalds arch and people really freaked out.”