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Woman buys PlayStation at Target, gets box of Bibles

A California woman buys her boyfriend a Christmas present. When he opens his PS4 box and finds a surprise, he says he wants it only if the items are personally signed by Jesus Christ.

It beggars belief what some people are prepared to do to make an illegal buck. CNN screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk

Buying a product that comes in a box is an act of faith.

One woman, though, says that her particular Christmas purchase brought only documents of faith.

Sandra Ortiz of Delano, Calif., wanted to buy her boyfriend a PS4. So she braved the wilderness of Target and excitedly bought one.

However, when it came time for her boyfriend to open his big surprise, he got an even bigger one. For inside was not a console, but merely consoling words. Two Bibles were placed where the PS4 should have been.

As CNN reports, Ortiz said that her boyfriend took one look at the Bibles and wondered what was happening. Perhaps this was Ortiz's way of refocusing his mind away from gaming and toward higher pursuits.

"He said he didn't want the Bibles unless they were autographed by Jesus himself," she told CNN.

Ortiz feared that Target's faith in what had happened wouldn't be great. However, she says that the store was very understanding and gave her a copy of Marx's "Das Kapital" and one of Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion," just for the sake of balance.

No, that's not quite right. In fact, the store apparently explained that these things do happen. Ortiz said the store staff told her they'd had another recent case where a box had been stuffed with paper.

Tales of devilish subterfuge do surface. Last year, a man claimed that he'd bought two iPods at two different Target stores and both boxes had contained not iPods but erasers.

Two years ago, a Texas woman bought an iPad at Walmart and found that it contained only yellow notepads. In that case, an earlier customer had apparently bought the box with an iPad in it and returned it without an iPad in it.

Of Ortiz's case, a Target spokeswoman told me: "As soon as the guest brought the package back, we immediately apologized for any inconvenience and exchanged it for a new one."

There is, of course, a more instant remedy for such incidents: just open the box in the store. It really is that simple.

Sometimes, you see, faith just isn't enough.