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BADGE: Admin BADGE: Authenticated Human Being BADGE: Journey To The End Of The Night BADGE: The Sweet Cheat Gone TEAM: 761 Oak Street TEAM: The Disorganised Guerilla War On Boredom and Normality TEAM: San Francisco Zero TEAM: LØVE TEAM: Public Library Zero BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 1: Commuter
25 + 401 points

Reverse Shoplifting by SAM LAVIGNE !, Jackie Hasa

April 15th, 2007 2:46 AM / Location: 37.869662,-122.2678

INSTRUCTIONS: Insert an object into a store. Make sure your object can be bought.

Jackie and I were particularly inspired by this task. We considered our options and then decided to go shopping at a cheap thrift store (Thrift Town). We bought a 6 items, repackaged them, and inserted them into various stores in Berkeley and San Francisco.

Shrink-wrapping was key. It equals authority and inspires confidence in consumers. Jackie happens to have access to shrink-wrapping technology.

We put a bar code on each item. If scanned, the items will register as snickers bars.

Here's what we got, and what we did:

1) Unusual looking spoon --> "Fun Spoon!"
2) Ancient 24-hour timer --> "Personal Security Device" (iPod compatible! Plug and Play!)
3) Stick The IRS (a board game from 1981) --> we didn't really need to do anything to this one, it was already AMAZING, although we did insert some real tax forms
4) Scary Bobble-Head Doll --> this doll had a empty space in its face where you could insert a photo, presumably. We inserted a photo of Alan Greenspan in front of a $1 bill
5) Picture frame with *real* pictures of two girls --> we inserted pictures of Gorbachev, Condoleezza Rice, and Michael Ironside along with the original pictures of the girls
6) Empty picture frame --> inserted image of Hollywood hills on fire

We placed the picture frames, the Fun Spoon and the bobble-head doll in walgreens. The IRS board game went to Games Of Berkeley, and the iPod compatible Personal Security device went to Comp USA.

+ larger

games of berkeley
all items, shrink-wrapped and ready to go
the battle plan
amazing board game
the tax shelter game (I want to play!)
eternal revenue service
inside "stick the irs"
two girls, Gorbachev, Condy Rice, Michael Ironside
Mr Ironside
Mr. Gorbachev
Ms. Rice
bobble-head doll
hollywood on fire
shrinkwrapping! look out - it goes sideways!
fun spoon packaging
oops i'm upsidedown!
all barcodes
wtf gasmask 1
wtf gasmask 2
wtf gasmask 3 (+ fun spoon!)
preparing the fun spoon packaging
final fun spoon, with packaging
fun spoon, backside
personal security device
personal security device, side view
back view (oops, typo!)
jackie inserts STICK THE IRS!
Fun Spoon! In Walgreens!
Bobble-head doll!
picture frame
hollywood picture frame
Personal Security Device in CompUSA!

81 vote(s)

Favorite of:



34 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by Jason 7au on April 15th, 2007 3:11 AM

I was wondering what the "fun spoon!" picture was on your kitchen table when Mr. Burn Unit and myself were over tonight. Points for the packaging! And for multiple shopdroppings.

(no subject)
posted by Møuse on April 15th, 2007 6:53 AM

Ive always imagined the insertion part of this task must be rather tricky. Were there no shifty security guards keeping their beady eyes on you?

Out. STanding.
posted by Burn Unit on April 15th, 2007 8:12 AM

O my word. That is epic and unbelievable . Also, that's the most chilling bobble head i've seen in a good long while.

posted by Saint on April 15th, 2007 8:49 AM

Well done, koodos for the awesome use of shrink wrap, and clever idea to put snickers bar codes on every item. This is amazing, and I so want a fun spoon now!

(no subject)
posted by Darkaardvark on April 15th, 2007 9:00 AM

That is one crazy board game.

Is a fun spoon like a spatula?
posted by rongo rongo on April 15th, 2007 9:04 AM

It would be cool to know whether these unique pieces of merchandise stayed on the shelves.

(no subject) +1
posted by r0ck c4ndy on April 15th, 2007 9:30 AM

I also want a fun spoon!!

And that game looks fabulous. If I worked at that store and someone brought it up to buy, I would explain that we don't sell it, confiscate it, and steal it myself!!!

(no subject)
posted by Saul Z on April 15th, 2007 10:32 AM

Looking forward to follow-up documentation of purchased-not-yet-purchased items. I also kinda want that gas mask.

(no subject)
posted by Jackie Hasa on April 15th, 2007 12:59 PM

I'm planning on checking on the items at Walgreens and Games of Berkeley on Monday. Also, Sam will be uploading amazing video of us packaging these things, so check back. We had absolutely no trouble inserting anything. After all, we weren't doing anything wrong. It wasn't a problem for any security people/employees that we were carrying strange objects into their stores and then not leaving with them. At CompUSA the security people asked if we were making a return (of the Personal Security Device), and I just told them I had bought it elsewhere, and they stuck some sort of marking sticker on it. It was pretty funny...

You are my heroes!
posted by Cthulhu Kitty on April 15th, 2007 2:53 PM

Perhaps a fun follow up task for someone else would be to document the attempts to purchase one or more of these items...

Fucking Devine
posted by Blue on April 15th, 2007 3:07 PM

If only every SFØ task was completed with such flair!

I want to go buy these things....
Which Comp USA did you go to?

Funk! I have to do my Taxes!

posted by SAM LAVIGNE ! on April 15th, 2007 4:21 PM

just in case anyone is interested...

Games of Berkeley: 2151 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, 94704
Walgreens: 2187 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
CompUSA: 750 Market St, San Francisco, CA

The East Coast has never felt so far away...!
posted by la flaneuse on April 15th, 2007 7:07 PM

Can't wait for the follow-up to see what's still in place. If I lived anywhere nearby, I would've been to the Walgreens already to get my mitts on the fun spoon because the packaging cracks me up, and I can't wait to see someone try to buy these. Y'all have till the 17th to do taxes anyway.

posted by Jackie Hasa on April 16th, 2007 1:35 PM

As of right now, the Fun Spoon is still on its hook in Walgreens. The picture frames are still there, too, but they've been shifted to a lower shelf (by an employee who noticed they were on shelves meant for organized things?). The Bobblehead Greenspan, unfortunately, has disappeared, perhaps bought? Stick the IRS is gone as well. As for the Personal Security Device, I doubt it would still be at CompUSA, but who knows.

(no subject)
posted by Ian Kizu-Blair on April 17th, 2007 12:09 PM

Sometime this week it would be fun to go into Games of Berkeley and ask an employee if they carry "Stick the IRS." I wonder what they did with it.

(no subject)
posted by Jackie Hasa on April 17th, 2007 4:45 PM

yeah, i thought about asking them whether they carried it, but didn't want them to accuse me of planting it. i was thinking about calling them about it, though. obviously some inquiry should be made.

you had me at shrink wrap
posted by Kristen Rutherford on April 17th, 2007 5:30 PM

that is all.

i just imagine
posted by M M on April 18th, 2007 2:47 PM

the scene between buyer and seller trying to figure out why the fun spoon keeps ringing up as snickers, and what the actual price should actually be...

Called Games of Berkeley tonight...
posted by la flaneuse on April 18th, 2007 9:46 PM

The woman who answered sounded amused by the end of the call, as if she knew. (Or am I just imagining one of you works there?) I would post the bad audio (lots o' cell phone feedback on my iTalk recorder) but am not sure how to cut out all the dead time. I asked about checking if they had a game in stock: Stick the IRS. She couldn't hear me, which isn't surprising on my phone lately. " in twig or in tax season," I translated through my bad cell phone static. "Oh, yeah, yeah, Break the IRS, we do have that in stock." "Is it Stick the IRS or Break the IRS? I don't know... a friend of mine was telling me about it." "It might be Stiff....let me check." Silence. "I don't's here. ...........I don't know which one it is. I could go check and look on the shelf. I can't find it in my computer, but...." I asked if she knew how much it was. [Over two and a half minutes waiting] "I'm sorry, it seems to have... disappeared. But I did see it here on Sunday." She sounded amused by this point, unless I was imagining that part. [Why say 'disappeared' instead of that they sold it, then?] Ok, I'll check back. "Sorry," she said. We both hung up.

(no subject)
posted by Jackie Hasa on April 19th, 2007 9:58 AM

hah, that's awesome, thanks flaneuse! i will try to go in person at some point soon--it will be much easier to gauge their reaction when we're face-to-face.

(no subject)
posted by Rabbit on April 19th, 2007 11:48 AM

attempted to grab the Fun Spoon when we were eating dinner next door, but all that is left is the empty rack. :(

not sure if anyone is still checking this, but...
posted by Jackie Hasa on April 23rd, 2007 3:39 PM

both picture frames are still at walgreens in berkeley.

(no subject)
posted by Raymond Luxury Yacht on April 26th, 2007 8:14 AM

oh my wow.

also, hooray.

Best Idea Evah!
posted by Yenoh Honey on May 12th, 2007 2:35 PM

I think this is one of the most impressively completed tasks I have yet to see. I wanted to buy the Fun Spoon too. Eggsellent job guys!

Best Idea Evah!
posted by Yenoh Honey on May 12th, 2007 2:36 PM

I think this is one of the most impressively completed tasks I have yet to see. I wanted to buy the Fun Spoon too. Eggsellent job guys!

(no subject)
posted by Lizard Boy on May 20th, 2007 3:27 PM

Well, I feel like I'm late to the party bandwagon...or...something, but WOW! I wish I could vote more than once for this because it totally deserves it.

(no subject)
posted by Møuse on June 4th, 2007 6:12 AM

I think weve managed to elect Senator Fun Soon to the sf0 senate.

(no subject)
posted by Jackie Hasa on June 5th, 2007 11:51 AM

if someone decided to be an sf0 character that was also an incarnation of the fun spoon, i would certainly vote for its senatorial campaign. no question.

posted by d@n s on June 23rd, 2007 10:15 PM

'fun spoon!' is my favorite thing ever.

My vote
posted by Wurm on August 18th, 2007 10:07 AM

I have so few of them but this deserves it.

posted by døøm stew on September 15th, 2007 12:14 PM

your performance was top nocth! i want fun spoon.

posted by Bryce on November 22nd, 2007 10:29 PM

I think this may be the best example of droplifting that I seen for ages.

All Hail the Fun Spoon.

(no subject)
posted by Magpie on November 26th, 2007 10:08 AM

At work trying not to burst out laughing with joy. This was great, an inspiration. Thank you

posted by Anastasia Bliss on January 22nd, 2008 11:57 PM

Hi, I'm new here. This is the first time I've voted, and if I could vote for you twice, I would. This was absolutely amazing. Well thought out, creative and hilarious!
It's me and my fiance's anniversary in a week, and I'm praying that he got me a Fun Spoon. Seriously. . .
Our relationship may be on the line here.
I want that damned spoon.