I have two questions for Northampton, Massachusetts, and they are the same: “Why?”

Specifically: why did you use COVID-19 relief money to pay for a bizarre tribute to a cartoon that wasn’t even created in Northampton, Massachusetts?

It was announced this week that Northampton would install manhole covers to mark the 40th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A very cool idea.

Here’s where the plan loses its cowabunga: according to MassLive, the town is using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay for the project. While I love the heroes in a half-shell as much as the next millennial, what exactly are you “rescuing” with Ninja Turtle manhole covers?

The town’s justification is that the project will revitalize its downtown area that bolsters its downtown art scene. Really? How bad have things fallen off in Northampton that people are now staring at the manhole covers?

Town officials cited the legendary cartoon’s 40th anniversary for the installations as a tribute to the “Northampton born Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”


While Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird met in Northampton, they were living right here in Dover when the Turtles went from a random illustration to a full-fledged idea.

In the piece cited by MassLive, it does indeed claim that Eastman and Laird were living in Massachusetts in November, 1983 – the widely-cited date of the birth of the Turtles.

However, records show that the duo were operating out of an apartment in Dover at that time. Are we to believe two struggling cartoonists commuted from Western Massachusetts to New Hampshire to draw?

Believe what you want to believe. If the idea of human-sized, pizza-eating turtles sits so easily with you, then why not bend the truth a bit more?

But as far as I'm concerned? No party, dude.

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