Turner Broadcasting, apparently following the Mooninite imperative that "We do whatever we want, to whomever we want, at all times," places as an ad campaign a bunch of ill-described "devices"–basically images of the Mooninite characters from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force show, involving some electronics–around Boston.
The city goes on an Orson Welles-sized rampage of ridiculous, unnecessary panic–even though, as per a Turner Broadcasting apology, the advertising thingies had been in many cities, including Boston, for weeks.
From a WCVB-TV account :
"Emergency deployment teams were sent into the center of the city immediately upon these reports. There were significant shutdowns of not only highways, but rail traffic with the MBTA," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "Several of the devices do have common characteristics, but it is too early to say how many are connected."
The first device was found under Interstate 93, and the state police bomb squad was called and detonated the package in Sullivan Square just before 10 a.m. Officials said it contained an electronic circuit board with some components that were "consistent with an improvised explosive device," but they said it had no explosives.
Several hours later, Boston police said the department received four calls, all at about 1 p.m., reporting the devices. Officials responded to at least nine locations, including the Boston University Bridge, the Longfellow Bridge, the McGrath O'Brien Highway in Somerville, a comic store on Harvard Avenue in Brighton, a location near the intersection of Stuart and Columbus streets, a location near Washington and Water streets and under the McCarthy Overpass in Somerville, according to Davis.
A device described by officials as a pipe bomb was found in the basement of the Tufts New England Medical Center at 185 Harrison Ave.
Davis said that residents should not be afraid to enter or leave the city and that additional police resources have been deployed to help ensure people that they are safe……"The individuals who placed these packages should be warned that there is a heavy penalty—two to five years imprisonment for each one of them. We are not playing around."
The punchline for this whole bit of absurdist security theater?
….police were told about the first package by a transit passenger who spotted it on a column that supports I-93. "This is a perfect example of our passengers taking part in Homeland Security," [MBTA Lt. Sal] Venturelli said.
Major cities should be warned that decent intelligence has it that Cavity Creeps lurk in many major cities' subways and catacombs, and possibly even offshore.