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Pop Culture

Woman presents a gym mystery so gripping even celebrity author John Green wants it solved

"This is a great American drama.”

monke, john green
@katherout/TikTok

Just another unsolved mystery

Who doesn’t like a good mystery?

A video creator known as @katherout certainly does. At the gym Kath frequents, there’s a whiteboard with a revolving prompt with simple questions like “What are you listening to?” or “What city were you born in?” Gym goers then write their responses anonymously on the board.

Kath recently became enthralled—and tickled—by a person who somehow manage to write the word “monke” (as in the word describing a group of monkeys, apparently) on every single one of their answers.


“No matter what the prompt is, somebody always finds a way to write the word ‘monke,’” Kath said in a TikTok video. “This is very amusing to me because I’m very attracted to commitment to the bit.”

Determined to solve who this “mystery monke gymgoer” was, Kath hatched a plan. First, she waited for the right whiteboard opportunity. When the staff wrote, “Who would you like to spend dinner with?” she knew to strike while the iron was hot. So in her reply, she wrote, “Monke Man.”

@katherout my life is very whimsical and fantastical becaise i make it that way by engaging in these sorts or charades #crush #gym #gymtok #dating #truecrime #mystery ♬ original sound - katherout

Much to her surprise, that got a response. Next to her entry, the name Wes was written. At last, a lead!

Keen on aiding Kath in her pursuit of answers, a gym worker at the front desk revealed that there were currently seven or eight people named Wes in the gym’s database. Kath then left a secret admirer note for "Monke Man" at the front desk. She then wrote on the board that whoever kept writing “monke” should go there and pick up their letter.

At this point, several million viewers on TikTok were also invested in Kath’s puzzle, including New York Times best-selling author John Green, who wrote “The Fault in Our Stars.”

"This is a great American drama,” he commented.

@katherout Replying to @literallyjohngreen life is stranger than fiction etc #mysterymonkegymgoer ♬ original sound - katherout

The official TikTok for the highly acclaimed sitcom “Ghosts” also chimed in, writing, “Putting our entire afterlives on pause until we get a monke update.”

Alas—when Kath returned to the gym, she discovered her whiteboard note had been erased, thus bringing her search back to square one. Just as the plot began to thicken, it sizzled out.

Though we might never know Monke Man’s true identity, Kath’s relentless pursuit of whimsy and fun is what people really seemed to respond to anyway. That, and her insatiable curiosity.

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