Guarding the Homefront


The last time I played a video game with either of the Mario Bros. in it, Reagan was in his first term and Mr. Mario was chasing an ape. So I might have missed some of the nuances in this story from GameSpot—but I think I've got the gist:

In the town of Ravenna, Ohio, five teenage girls, ages 16 and 17, crafted some life-sized power-up boxes modeled after those in [Super Mario Bros.]. The cardboard boxes were covered in shiny, gold wrapping paper and had the black question marks familiar to most gamers. As an April Fools joke, the girls laid 17 of these boxes around the town in public spaces Friday morning.

The humor was lost on some residents, however. After noticing one package on the steps of a church, a concerned citizen reported the "suspicious package" to local authorities, who called in the county's hazardous materials unit and the bomb squad.

Upon further inspection, no materials designed to harm people, mushrooms to increase a person's size, or flowers that bestow the ability to project bouncing fireballs were found inside the boxes. The packages were empty.

According to the Ohio Record-Courier, "the incident will be referred to the Portage County Prosecutor's Office for possible charges against the girls."

[Thanks to Tim Dreier for the link.]