“Hunting Andrews,” by Julie Minicozzi

Aug 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose


No one had made the connection before. But, faced with the facts, the correlation could not be ignored.

“25 Major Cities. 339 Murders. 4 weeks. 1 Common Element: Andrew.”

The front page headline of the Times on June 20, 2010 was viewed by most with an appropriate vein of skepticism. But it was the Times, so surely the facts had been checked and re-checked. And after reading the article, all of us could see that the case was air-tight. Something had gone awry with men named Andrew.

Across the country, there had been an uptick in violence within a one month period, and every suspect was named Andrew. There were lethal incidents of domestic violence. There were drug-related murders. There were road-rage killings. And no one had previously connected the dots, because the incidents were so widespread, so unconnected in every other way.


Several politicians called on the president to take action.

“All Andrews should be detained, quarantined, and examined,” said Alfonse Francisco, the mayor of New York City.

“Let’s not be hasty. We can’t just lock up all Andrews. It’s a violation of civil rights,” said Governor Andrew Danforth of Oregon, before chartering a plane that day and leaving for an “extended vacation.”

The president held a press conference and said, “There have been no incidents with Andrews under the age of eighteen. Thus, they are exempt from suspicion. All adult, male Andrews must be considered a danger to themselves and to others, and should voluntarily surrender to authorities immediately. Fear not; you will be treated with compassion and dignity.”

The president’s social secretary, Andrew Morton, was seen later that day boarding a private yacht owned by a Saudi prince.


Tens of thousands of Andrews reluctantly surrendered at local police precincts. They were quarantined in school gymnasiums, since the schools were on summer recess. The National Guard (not including guardsmen named Andrew) formed search parties and rounded up Andrews. Some Andrews went underground, eluding the authorities by hiding in basements, sheds, and pool cabanas. When found, many became confrontational and had to be subdued, sometimes with lethal force. To aid the National Guard’s efforts, the Federal Government offered attractive bounties for the capture of renegade Andrews by private citizens.


Unbeknownst to the general public at the time, the, “Andrew Camps,” were overcrowded and unbearably squalid within a week. The media was not allowed access to film within the camps, but the wardens held press conferences, assuring all that the Andrews were “playing chess, smoking cigars, and enjoying their time off.”

True Life Network launched a reality show, “Andrew in Hiding,” which garnered ratings that eclipsed their former top show, “Thirteen, Pregnant, and On Drugs.” News Now hired private detectives to hunt down politically-connected Andrews who had fled the country, so that they could be ambushed by news correspondents and shown fleeing the camera’s watchful eye. Rave News touted a law that would allow for legalized Andrew hunting. In fact, several tree-stands were erected in towns across the nation on streets where Andrews formerly resided, on the off-chance that one might come out of hiding and try to go home.


A month of hysteria, mass religious ceremonies, and twenty-four hour news coverage of the Andrew crisis had weakened the morale of the country. The main topic of conversation in coffee shops was “What do we do with the Andrews?” But it wasn’t until ten year old Ben Sever of Pittsburgh asked an ASABC reporter, “What have all of the other countries done with their bad Andrews?” that we all stopped talking and listened.

It finally dawned on us: there hadn’t been any “bad Andrews,” in other countries. And we hadn’t actually held any trials for the Andrews in question, so we couldn’t be assured of their guilt. It might have all been a terrible coincidence.


Organized protests for the immediate release of the Andrews were held in every major city the next day. The president issued an apology to the Andrews, called for a senate committee to investigate the incident, and declared that henceforth, June 20th was to be a Federal holiday named, “Andrew Day: A Day of Forgiveness,” also known as ADADOF day.

Democrats blamed the Republicans, stating that they “fostered an atmosphere of oppression and hatred.” Republicans blamed the Democrats, alleging that they “conspired with the press to doctor the initial casualty estimates in order to hinder the chances of Republican candidate Andrew Schmidt from securing a Congressional seat in next election.” The media blamed the general public, saying that, “mob mentality emerged from nothing,” and likened the incident to “the shame of the Japanese internment camps in the second World War.” The public blamed the media for forcing everyone to watch that “darned 24/7 news coverage.”


In the weeks following the release of the Andrews, the families of Andrews that had been killed mourned – and then met with attorneys. The families of formerly detained Andrews rejoiced – and then met with attorneys, reality television producers, and literary agents.

Finally, after months of political wrangling, salacious finger-pointing, and seemingly endless players in the blame game, the “Great Andrew Crisis” was nothing but a future entry in updated volumes of history textbooks. The hullabaloo was over.


The October 26, 2010 headline of the Times read, “16 Major Cities. 72 Fatal

Accidents. 2 weeks. 1 Common Element: Banana Peels.


Julie Minicozzi has had several poetry and flash fiction works accepted for publication at various journals recently, but her real mission in life is to collect and distribute clothing for naked squirrels residing in her neighborhood and all around the country. Aghast at the sheer number of squirrels who do not possess adequate attire, Julie has started a non-profit organization to help tackle this daunting task, named S.O.N.S. (Save Our Naked Sciuridae). Please, help these attire-challenged nut-lovers; adopt a squirrel today.  (Warning—explicit photo attached. Viewer discretion advised.)

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