January 12, 2011

And now . . . this - Jan. 12/11

Another resounding triumph for government bureaucracy

A cross-border kerfuffle over a popular chocolate treat nearly cost a Winnipeg woman a $300 fine and saddled her with a bureaucratic headache.

Lind Bird was recently stopped at the U.S. border and selected for a random search of her vehicle. She was warned she could have faced a fine after the customs official found - and seized - her $2 Kinder Surprise egg as illegal contraband.

Bird learned U.S. authorities have banned the candy because they come with a plastic toy inside that could, if eaten, choke a small child.

[Full Story]

See, this is why the U.S. has never successfully invaded Canada, or even tried since 1812. Even our candy is booby-trapped!

(Since obviously my American readers have likely never seen this tasty menace to society: a Kinder Surprise is a hollow chocolate egg, a little larger than a chicken egg, consisting of an outer shell of dark chocolate and an inner layer of white chocolate. Concealed within the egg is a little plastic capsule, which contains a tiny plastic toy that you put together yourself. It's kind of like a party cracker that you can eat.)

But wait, there's more:

As trivial as the border seizure may seem, Bird said the U.S. government has sent her a seven-page letter asking her to formally authorize the destruction of her seized Kinder egg. . . .

The letter states if Bird wishes to contest the seizure, she'll have to pay $250 for it to be stored as the two sides wrangle over it.

Option 1: Waste precious time filling out huge form informing Americans that yes, indeed, they may destroy $2 contraband egg.

Option 2: Give government ridiculous storage fee not to destroy $2 egg.

Of course, simply buying a fresh egg is cheaper either way, and it's just so tasty.