Over-paranoid wallies will call in the cops for anything these days — via boingboing

A friend of mine works at one of the major studios in Burbank. He works in the mail room x-raying packages as they come in, looking for bombs. A couple of months after 9-11, he got a package through that had a battery pack in the center, with sensors connected by coiled wires going out to all sides of the box. He called the Burbank police, and they called the bomb squad.

They evacuated the building and sent a guy in wearing one of those big bomb shield suits. He had a tiny video camera with him, and he poked a hole in the box away from the sensors and peeked inside with the camera. He came out of the building laughing, holding the box under his arm. He handed it to my friend who discovered it, and told him to open it.

My buddy opened it, and inside was a Tickle Me Elmo. The battery pack was in his belly, and the sensors were in his hands and feet to make him giggle. The bomb squad guy told everyone that the x-ray was a textbook example of what a bomb really looks like, and took a copy of it to use in training.

Even more amusing was the information that this wasn’t Elmo’s first brush with the law. Mark Johnson-Williams, the Tickle-Me Elmo toy designer, had apparently been tagged as a potential Unabomber suspect.

I was always sending batteries and headless dolls in the mail. I think that’s what caught their attention.

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