NEW YORK - Famed 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus, known for accidentally stumbling upon America while searching for India, seems to have made a similar blunder in the 21st century. This time, however, his Niña, Pinta, and Santa María were mistaken for quirky billionaire yachts, and the “natives” he tried to subdue just called the cops.
Local New Yorker, Jenny Rodriguez, was having her morning coffee when she noticed Columbus, standing in full regalia, planting a flag on her front lawn. “At first, I thought it was a pretty intense renaissance fair,” she said, “But when he tried to offer me beads in exchange for my house, I knew something was up."
Columbus, seemingly unfazed by the skyscrapers, taxi cabs, and a guy shouting, “I’m walkin' here!” continued with his plans. "I claim this land for Spain!" He declared at Times Square, attempting to set up a small colony next to a hot dog cart.
However, his efforts to "introduce" Catholicism to the masses were met with confusion. "Bro, there's a church, like, two blocks from here," said Tony Marino, a local barber. “But if you're giving out free stuff, I’ll take an iPhone charger."
Columbus's crew, meanwhile, were equally disoriented but found solace in different parts of the modern world. Several were seen at a Starbucks, trying to trade spices for a Venti cold brew. One sailor reportedly asked a local if the "mystical device" in his hand was a compass, only to be told it was just an old iPhone 6.
"I showed them Google Maps, and they just about lost their minds," remarked a tech-savvy teenager, Chad Stevens. "They were like 'Who needs stars and constellations when you have GPS?'"
However, the explorer’s biggest shock came during his visit to the Museum of Natural History. Columbus was astonished to find exhibits detailing the complex societies, cultures, and achievements of the indigenous people he once believed he was "discovering."
After several awkward encounters, including trying to baptize a fire hydrant and asking a local Native American protest group for "colonization tips," Columbus finally came to a realization.
"Perhaps, in this brave new world,” he mused, “I am the one who needs to be discovered.”
Late in the afternoon, reports indicate that Columbus was spotted boarding a cruise ship. When asked about his plans, the old mariner replied, "I hear the Bahamas this time of year is lovely. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find India.”
As of press time, Columbus was haggling with a Verizon rep about overseas roaming charges for his newly acquired smartphone.