An Ode to InkBoy, Twitter's Summerlong Window into Hamptons Absurdity

The Atlantic
An Ode to InkBoy, Twitter's Summerlong Window into Hamptons Absurdity
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An Ode to InkBoy, Twitter's Summerlong Window into Hamptons Absurdity

For a certain set on Twitter, there is only one story that matters this summer: the redemption of InkBoy, an anonymous trust-fund kid who blew his fortune way too early and is now working for a landscaping and maintenance company for the summer in the Hamptons. 

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Some background: If you love all those stories about the Hamptons and aren't already following @Hamptonsborn on Twitter, you need to correct yourself immediately. It's run by Joe Schenk, a self-proclaimed "housewatcher" and East Hampton local who documents the ridiculous requests he gets from his impossibly rich clients while they're occupying his part of Long Island for the summer. Schenk told New York's Daily Intel that he runs a family business that "help[s] the rich and helpless transition from concrete to grass." He also runs one of the best accounts on Twitter right now. 

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The legend of InkBoy exploded on June 3 and hasn't stopped since. Like the best Internet legends, he has a wonderful origin story: InkBoy is the 23-year-old son of a Hamptons regular who blew a $3 million trust fund. And so his dad, Schenk's fourth biggest client, paying Schenk $50 an hour; Schenk pays InkBoy $20 an hour. InkBoy works as a "Septic Cleaning Assistant," learns the value of hard work, and maybe won't be such an insufferable brat by the end of the summer. It's not hard to see the upside of this arrangement. The first day was rough, though: 

InkBoy just asked if he could "get some egg whites real quick". Shoulda thought of that at 7am! Shut up and get in the truck InkBoy!

— Joe Schwenk (@HamptonsBorn) June 3, 2013

InkBoy went to Loaves & Fishes to get his lunch---cost more than I am paying him today. Everyone else brown bagged it. INKBOY!!!!

— Joe Schwenk (@HamptonsBorn) June 3, 2013

InkBoy wears this huge, black & gold watch with diamonds he says is a Hugh Blow(sp?) Big Bang. I told him he looks like Liberace! #INKBOY

— Joe Schwenk (@HamptonsBorn) June 3, 2013

InkBoy was, naturally, an instant hit. Over the next few days, Schenk documented the horrible, torturous handiwork through which he put InkBoy, like cleaning gutters and cutting scrap metal. Watching InkBoy's progress was the best kind of schadenfreude: privilege meeting practical hard work. 

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Now, you might be inclined to feel bad for InkBoy. Cleaning gutters is dirty work! Yuck! No one likes to clean gutters. But this kid has taken weekends off to attend George Lucas's wedding, nearly took a day off work for some cuts, and gets picked up and dropped off in his mother's Aston Martin or his father's Fisker Karma. (Or, occasionally, the butler in a Range Rover.)

But Schenk is a genius. He made Inkboy clean his parents' pool

We sincerely hope you have a great summer, InkBoy. We know from experience how hard mowing lawns and emptying garbage cans and doing dirty work for a summer job can be. We know how much it sucks to weed whack. But you can do it, we know you can, and, yes, your dad is right. This job will build character. Keep doing whatever Joe Schenk tells you to do, just take off your expensive watch first. We wish you could be his intern forever. But this summer will come to an end, you'll go back to whatever it is you normally do, and we'll be left with a hole in our heart. We're rooting for you, InkBoy. 

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