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Dave McGinn opens a glitter bomb.

Julian Liurette/The Globe and Mail

The glitter-bomb phenomenon started with a bang, but I can tell you from personal experience that it ends with a lint roller.

Is this shower of sparkles the best revenge? Only if you want to confuse someone.

Last month, a 22-year-old Australian man became an international viral sensation when he launched a company called Ship Your Enemies Glitter. For $9.99, Matthew Carpenter promised to "vomit up a tonne of glitter" and send it in an envelope to any address in the world. His website promised that the bomb would also include "a note telling them how awful they are which will be folded within."

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Every newspaper out there (this one included) wrote glowingly about the site and its evil genius. Glitter has a reputation for being impossible to clean up – that's why some call it the herpes of the craft world. There could be no better way to drive your enemies up the wall than by covering them in the stuff. Carpenter was so overwhelmed by the attention he stopped shipping orders almost immediately. It was just a joke, he said.

With a clear opening in the market, Montreal Web producer Aimee Davison launched an almost identical service called Actually Ship Your Enemies Glitter. What's it like to actually get one of these glitter bombs? To find out, I ordered one for $11.11 (U.S.).

Six days later, it arrived in a standard-size white envelope with the corners taped down. I could feel some lumps inside, but I wouldn't have been suspicious if I didn't know it was coming.

Expecting a big, sparkly explosion, I opened the envelope and took out the letter. A small pile of glitter fell onto the coffee table. Most of the glitter stayed in the envelope.

"Dave," read the note inside. "Here's a buttload of glitter for the newest glitter mail victim: you! Enjoy cleaning up the mess. Dare we recommend picking each piece of glitter up one by one with tweezers or a Q-Tip … For the next year!"

The post script said "Bonus rose stickers," which explained why there were five small stickers of flowers on the note.

If I were an unsuspecting victim, I'm pretty sure I'd be more baffled than livid. Instead of picking up each piece of glitter with tweezers, I swept the coffee table with a broom, wiped it with a J-Cloth and then used a lint roller. All traces of glitter were gone.

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This is what I paid money for? I could have made it myself for $1.50.

Carpenter sold his site in an online auction for $85,000 (U.S.). Actually Ship Your Enemies Glitter tried to do the same, but the highest of the eight bids it received was $350.

"Muahhahahaha," laughed my inner evil genius when I first heard about glitter bombs. As I washed my hands after my experiment, all I could think was, "well, meh."

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