Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Count Olaf, crimefighter?

Occasionally, a fortunate event occurs.

Publishers Weekly (subscription required) reports that a Count Olaf point-of-purchase standing display mailed out by HarperCollins Children's Books to promote the latest installment of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events has an added benefit: It stops crime.

Well, at least at Watermark Books in Wichita, Kan.:
Bookseller Sarah Bagby reported that a boy in the store had stuffed a book under his shirt, presumably aiming to take a five-finger discount. When the boy passed the standee on his way out, Count Olaf bellowed one of the motion-sensor phrases he's programmed to say: "Where did you get that book?" Believing he had been found out, the boy quickly stopped in his tracks and brought the book back inside the store.
Incidentally, PW notes, the motion-activated chip plays two sinister laughs and two other messages: "Not only am I intelligent, but I'm also very smart," and "Poor Baudelaires. You might as well give up."