Here's something to think about the next time you dress up for a cosplay event and need to exit your house/apartment wearing your costume.
In Canada, which is universally known as the most friendly country in the world, a guy was taken to the local police station by no less than eight police officers after he walked through his hometown of Grande Prairie wearing a #Fallout New California Republic costume.
Apparently, the guy wanted to go to the local tailor to fix one last thing on his #cosplay outfit. As the tailor was pretty close, he decided to just walk there 'in character' sporting gas mask, bullet belt, fascist flag and everything. Bad decision.
Is That A Bomb?!
While on his way to the tailor, several concerned citizens of Grande Prairie called the police, notifying them of a suspicious-looking man roaming the streets of the neighborhood wearing what they presumed was some kind of battledress. The strange-looking robotic mechanism on his back caused particular concern what with it looking like a very crude, homemade bomb.
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The man, who's name is unknown at this point, arrived at Lynn’s Alterations at Bell Tower Plaza, where the shop's owner, Hoa Huynh, started doing measurements for the costume. That is until he was called by police and asked if he saw any wires on the man's device. When Huynh confirmed there were, police told him to exit the shop via the back entrance.
“He was observed going into a business, so the RCMP members were able to safely remove the staff members from the business,”
- RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Corporal Shawn Graham to CBC News.
Nah, It's Just Pringles
Fortunately the situation never got out of control, though the police treated it like a real bomb situation, setting up a perimeter outside the shop and using their vehicles for cover. The friendly Canadian police actually talked to the man in the shop before they opened fire and realized what exactly was going on.
That strange device on the man's back that they and several citizens had mistaken for a bomb, was several cans of Pringles potato chips—painted silver to look like something from Fallout.
“We have to believe everything is real until proven otherwise. In the end you’ve got a good feeling after going, ‘OK, there wasn’t a bomb, there was no intent to do anything criminal, it’s just someone with their costume.'"
- Corporal Shawn Graham to CBC News.
In the end, the cosplayer was taken to the police station but released later the same day without any charges.
A Tasty Outcome
So, what can we make of this story? Well, not much, but we can take comfort in it. In a time of widespread swatting and heavily-reported police brutality, this seems to be an incident where all parties—cosplayer, residents, police and shop owner—acted quite reasonably. So let's just cherish that for a moment before we move back into the maddening social media feed of things gone horribly wrong.
With that said, I bet he'll keep his costume in a bag the next time he's going to an expo.