OK, here's the short version. Paramount and the L.A. Times decided it might be nifty to jam a little music box into 4,500 of the newspaper's sales machines, one that would treat you to a tiny, tinny rendition of the Mission: Impossible theme if you, movie fan or not, happened to purchase a newspaper. And nobody stopped to consider that if one of those little music boxes were jarred loose (Really, don't folks let those newspaper machines just SLAM shut?), then one unfortunate paper-buyer might open said machine and discover something that looks ... a lot ... like a ... bomb.

Granted, a bomb that plays the Mission: Impossible theme probably isn't all that hazardous, but let's cut right to the meat of the matter:

Movie marketing is freakin' ridiculous already. I mean ... are you MORE likely to go see Mission: Impossible 3 (on May 5th!) if your local paper machine is chirping its theme song? Does the fact that Lalo Schifrin's eponymous theme song has been permanently seared into your brain-stem make you want to see Tom Cruise's latest actionfest? ("Hey honey, I previously had no interest whatsoever in seeing Mission: Impossible 3, directed by Lost's J.J. Abrams, but after buying that fantastic copy of The L.A. Times ... I now, strangely, feel more likely to purchase several tickets ... and on opening weekend, too! Oh, let's go over to Best Buy right now and ask if they have Impossible Missions 1 and 2 on DVD!")

Yeah, so the L.A. bomb squad was called, they blew up the paper machine (an ironic thing for a bomb squad to do, but there you have it) and discovered that the nefarious-looking doo-hickey was merely an expensive toy from Paramount ... and the studio got a nice big dose of extra publicity because of it. Apparently it was all part of Paramount's plan to "turn the 'everyday news rack experience' into an 'extraordinary mission'. " -- to which I'd humbly respond "just gimme my freakin' newspaper and quit trying to brainwash me."

Mission: Impossible 3, which I'm looking forward to AND sick to death of at the same time, opens on May 5th.