Bibliophiles will appreciate this one about planting fake books in bookstores and other public-place pranks. -Editor
When Jeff Wysaski of Obvious Plant puts up one of his creations, he does not stick around to see the reactions. When he’s on a job,
leaving fake signs and objects in his gym, at IKEA, in book stores, in chain stores, on the street or at a museum, he tries to be sneaky.
Once the deed is done, “I run away as fast as possible,” he says.
Since January, Wysaski, a Los Angeles comedy writer who runs the website Pleated Jeans, has been planting jokes in the real world. They
are delightful breaks in the world’s mundanity.
He got started on this particular project after losing interest in the web comics and other forms of internet humor he’d been pursuing.
He’d put up funny signs before, and it happened that, around this time, ideas for jokes in public places started flooding his brain. For
the first plant that he characterizes as “a little more adventurous,” he paid $20 or $30 to have a legitimate-looking sign made up, listing
rules for a park. He stuck it in the ground at the park near his house:
Some are simple signs, but others are much, much more elaborate. One of his favorite but most time-intensive projects involved writing fake
book covers—front, back and inside flaps—and planting them in an actual bookstore. Making the covers took 20 to 30 hours, but it was worth it. After
some Obvious Plant fans found the store, went to take pictures and pointed the books out to the store’s employees, the books were displayed
prominently, at asking prices of tens of thousands of dollars.
The first couple of times that Wysaski went into a public space to plant a joke, he was nervous and kept looking around, for someone to
stop him. But soon he realized that everyone around him was just going about their day, unconcerned with whatever he was up to. “It’s
amazing how inattentive people are,” he says. “No one is expecting someone to go into a store and put up fake signs. I’ve done it in front
of employees, and they don’t notice.”
Occasionally, too, his plants will stay up for longer than one might expect. A fake hiring sign he put up in Best Buy was there for
three whole months.
To read the complete article, see:
MAN SCATTERING VERY FUNNY FAKE BOOKS, SIGNS AND PAMPHLETS AROUND L.A.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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