Mysteries! A disappearing caterer, katydids swarm, and fried green tomato what?

Where’s the caterer? At least six stressed-out Brooklyn brides-to-be on Wednesday were greeted with a nightmarish email: Their caterer was nowhere to be found. 

Both brides had planned events in Brooklyn’s beloved Prospect Park through the Prospect Park Alliance, a nonprofit that acts as a liaison between couples who rent the park’s boathouse and the caterer Movable Feast. According to Gothamist, the Alliance sent out an email to its rental clients saying it had been “unable to contact” Movable Feast.

The whereabouts of the owner—and his clients’ money—remain unknown.

The couples who spoke to Gothamist had both paid deposits well over $10,000. Multiple attempts to contact the owners, both by clients and by Gothamist, went unanswered—phone lines were disconnected, offices were shuttered, emails bounced. Google’s business listing for the company says it’s “permanently closed.”

One couple got ahold of owner Jackson Berson’s father-in-law, who said Berson was in the middle of a divorce and had left his wife and children “a couple of weeks ago,” Gothamist reports.

A spokesperson for the Prospect Park Alliance told Gothamist that Movable Feast has catered park events for more than twenty years. The whereabouts of the owner—and his clients’ money—remain unknown, though a missing persons report has not been filed. A Thursday afternoon update speculated he may be gambling in Atlantic City.

Caterers disappear sometimes. It happened last year on Long Island when wedding and bar mitzvah caterer Dynamic Events abruptly cut off client contact  last fall. At the time, clients alleged owner Bobby Kanowitz took of thousands of deposit dollars with him. And just yesterday in Anaheim, California, police arrested a man who allegedly ran an “event planning scam,” charging families thousands of dollars in fees for wedding catering and quinceañera parties without ever delivering. Police say the man went by at least four different names as he perpetrated the scam.

For now, other caterers have started to reach out to help the distressed spouses-to-be. Some of them are offering discounts to help defray the costs of potentially lost deposits.

Hopefully, Movable Feast is just having an Adrian-Grenier-on-the-beach kind of moment, and the caterers will be back, finger foods intact, with a sheepish “sorry but thank you.” For now, Berson’s whereabouts remain a mystery.

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It’s a bird, it’s a plague. In southern Idaho and northern Nevada, drivers who see pavement that looks like it’s moving have been warned to “drive as if they are on icy roads,” according to local law enforcement speaking to the Associated Press. That’s because what looks like an undulating stretch of highway might actually be a blanket of Mormon crickets.

They’ve been known to wipe out entire crops.

Dan Nosowitz for Modern Farmer on Thursday penned a pretty tingly tale about the generally-unintrusive-until-suddenly-they-aren’t flightless crickets that are flooding our western rangelands by the dozens per square meter.

And these bugs are hungry. So named by Mormon settlers on first encountering the crickets in Utah, they’re really katydids with shields on their backs. Good thing they’ve got gear, too, because during their swarming phase, they go to to battle with plants, insects, even each other. And they’ve been known to wipe out entire crops.

Why? Scientists don’t know. And how often do the bugs get their swarm on? No idea. It’s a mystery, you see.

Playing flavorites. PepsiCo-owned Lay’s Potato Chips announced in a press release this week the three finalists in its “Do Us a Flavor” contest. The flavors: Lay’s Crispy Taco, Lay’s Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, and Lay’s Wavy Fried Green Tomato will be available in stores on July 30. The winning flavor, based on votes from American eaters, will score its creator a $1 million grand prize.

Evidently Food & Wine, Refinery29 and CBS Chicago got the same press release—headlined “Crispy Taco, Everything Bagel With Cream Cheese And Fried Green Tomato Chips Will Have You Saying: ‘It Tastes Just Like The Real Thing!’”—because all three covered this breaking news of national security import.

And just as flavors and media entities that covered this come in threes, so too do the mysteries: First, it’s a mystery why, in covering who covered this, I inadvertently covered it; second, it’s a mystery whether or not the inventor of the bagel flavor, Lindsay Hoffman, has a favorite leisure activity other than snacking (“With this chip idea, she could finally combine her morning ritual, favorite breakfast meal and her favorite leisure activity of eating Lay’s potato chips into a single bite…”); third, why, instead of popping a chip flavored to taste “just like the real thing,” wouldn’t you just go ahead and… eat the real thing?

The Counter Stories by our editors.