By Scott Brown
Updated August 24, 2006 at 07:21 PM EDT

The folks over at Improv Everywhere* are experts at manipulating the space-time continuum: When you’ve already mastered the art of looping reality — thanks to the participation of several undercover “agents” working in concert to create surreal spectacles in public places — it’s only a matter of time before you decide to slow things down.

Thus Slo-Mo Home Depot, a stunt involving one unwitting mega-chain and more than 200 infiltrators, all surreptitiously watching the clock for their timed cues. First they shop at normal speed, integrating themselves into the crowd. Then, en masse, they slow down. (Scroll down to the hidden-camera videos: The sped-up version is the best way to appreciate this effect.) Then they return to normal speed for five minutes. Then stop. Completely. For five minutes. I’ve seen Home Depot employees pull this act before, but never the customers. Watch and marvel!

(*Full disclosure: I.E. founder and chieftain Charlie Todd used to be my roommate, back when his only time-manipulation tools were Michelob tallboys and the Contra cheat code.)