"We pulled it, we checked it, we put it back."
And with that, a Bashas' employee provided the final word on last week's biggest bone of contention--a crackpot controversy over whether the videocassette packaging for Disney's The Little Mermaid bore the image of a penis.

Last Thursday, the supermarket chain yanked all copies of the G-rated cartoon from its shelves after a customer complained of seeing an engorged organ embedded in the Mermaid label's cover artwork. The tapes soon were returned to stock when the store verified that the packaging was identical to that on Mermaid tapes sold elsewhere.

Alerted by her husband to the presence of the tumescence, Bashas' customer Michelle Couch of Mesa had decided it was her duty to try to persuade Disney to redo the lascivious labels.

Her husband may have read about the offending artwork in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. The controversy has been bubbling in El Lay for the past month, with rumors that a disgruntled Disney artist had pulled this prank. Disney, however, insists that the erection is strictly in the eye of the beholder.

Couch finally took her complaint about the prurient packaging to Bashas'. Store spokeswoman Becca Anderson insists that the delicate nature of Couch's concerns had nothing to do with the supermarket's decision to jerk Mermaid off the shelves. Says Anderson, "The same thing would happen if she came in and said the sour cream was a little too sour."

Anderson adds, "They were off the shelves less than 24 hours. Let's face it--you can see a phallic symbol anywhere." Can you?--

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Dewey Webb

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