The Dry-Erase Board Girl Hoax couldn’t have been timed any better. First we learned of Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater (an “internal memo” from Mr. Slater can be read here), who left his job of many years in a blaze of glory after dealing with one rude passenger too many. The epic righteousness of Slater’s angry exit down a jet’s emergency escape slide, beer in hand, after telling off a rude and impatient passenger struck a chord with everyone who has ever had a job in the service industry. Slater was finally standing up for himself, dropping the practiced and professional facade for a little bit of raw, in-your-face reality. It was inevitable that he’d become a kind of overnight folk hero, complete with fan pages on Facebook.
John and Leo Resig, the brothers who run The Chive, reacted to Slater’s story with timing worthy of P.T. Barnum when they posted “Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office (33 Photos).” The post is a photo essay that tells the story of “Jenny,” who decided to resign from her unsatisfying job as a broker’s assistant via a carefully-crafted series of photographs sent to everyone in her office. The images show a very attractive young woman addressing her reasons for leaving via brief statements scrawled on a dry-erase board. The climax of the show is Jenny revealing that one of the many reasons her boss is a waste of space is the nearly 20 hours a week he spends playing Farmville on Facebook (in addition to being a lecher and a chauvinist).
Incredibly, a lot of people seemed to buy the whole thing outright. A good number of the thousand-odd comments attached to the post itself seemed to take it at face value. Jenny acquired her own Facebook following in nothing flat, including a group called “1,000,000 Strong for Jenny DryErase to Pose in Playboy.“
At least Peter Kafka of All Things D smelled a rat:
The story showed up this morning on theChive.com, a dude-centric site run by brothers John and Leo Resig, who own a series of photo/humor sites [...] Before that, the Resigs ran a site called Derober, which features doctored photos of celebrities in their underwear.
And Derober’s moment in the spotlight came back in December 2007, when it made up a story about Donald Trump leaving a $10,000 tip on a $82.27 bill. The story was convincing enough to fool Fox News and the New York Post (both of which are owned by News Corp., which also owns this site).
So Jenny is a fake, too. Right, Leo Resig?
No, Resig says over the phone. “Jenny’s very real.”
Expecting a post like this on a site like The Chive to have any basis in reality is like ordering chicken nuggets and expecting real meat. Yet even historically cynical sites like Gawker’s Deadspin expressed disappointment that the whole Jenny affair was “probably” a hoax. Deadspin published a screen capture of a notice allegedly posted by John Rezig (sic) seeking “next door model type for photo shoot for thechive.com” and labeled it “possibly real” and “possibly fake.”
We searched the text in the screen capture and found it was indeed posted on August 3 at ActorsAccess.com. We also made our own screen cap, just for kicks – the solicitation is real enough.
The Resigs told Peter Kafka they are going to reveal more about Jenny Wednesday morning and that they are receiving attention from the likes of Jay Leno and Good Morning America. Perhaps the big reveal on Wednesday will be whether this is the bread, or the circus.
UPDATE: The answer to the question above? Circus. Earlier today The Chive published a post admitting what had been obvious all along – Jenny the Dry Erase Board Girl was really an actress named Elyse Porterfield. So yes, of course it was a hoax.