Grass Valley, CA — Area weather forecasting savant Giovanni Paolo was asked to leave the Grass Valley Staples Office Supply store Wednesday afternoon after a store clerk caught him in a back aisle furiously popping all the bubble wrap. After being discovered, Mr. Paolo was escorted by Staples employee April Smith.
“Oh I did do that? I’m also banned from Office Depot in 20 states for the same reason,” said a chuckling Mr. Paolo in a Gish Gallop telephone interview. “Hey, I’m only trying to save the air trapped in the bubbles. What’s wrong with that?”
Because bubble wrap makes a satisfying popping sound when compressed and ruptured, it is often used as a source of amusement. Acknowledging this alternative use, some websites provide a virtual bubble wrap program which displays a sheet of bubble wrap that users may pop by clicking on the bubbles. Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day is celebrated on the last Monday of January. The second Monday of May was designated as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day after a radio station in Bloomington, Indiana received a shipment of microphones wrapped in bubble wrap, which, after being unwrapped and installed, inadvertently broadcast the sound of their wrappings being popped.
Mr. Paolo was not celebrating Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.
“Yeah, this lady came up to me in the front and said there was this guy sitting on the floor back by the white boards popping all the bubble wrap,” said a fatigued Ms. Smith. “I laughed and thought it was a joke, but she just stared at me. So I headed to the back of the store, and sure enough, Giovanni was sitting on the floor in a heap of popped bubble wrap.”
According to Ms. Smith, Mr. Paolo’s first words were “oh, not again,” followed by a “do I have to leave?”
“I asked him for his autograph,” continued Ms. Smith. “He signed my right arm with a Sharpie.”
At the time of the writing, Mr. Paolo has not mentioned the event on Facebook or other Social Media outlets. The Union Newspaper of Grass Valley plans on covering the story sometime next week.