Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Marzipan Threat

I am back in the United States, after the usual difficulty with planes. Other people tell me they have no problem flying, which has led me to conclude that I have bad plane karma. This version involves marzipan.

I bought the German candy for two friends who requested it. On the plane from Munich to Dulles, I filled out the U.S. Customs form, which asks what you are bringing into the country. I checked "yes" in the box for "Food." This tipped me into the non-straight-forward category of arrival, which in turn required a long wait in a long line for a more thorough security check. I kept saying, "But it's only marzipan!" The customs officials kept saying, "Ma'am, we don't make the rules, it's marked on the form." Neither of us was happy.

I made the flight from Dulles to Rochester with about two minutes to spare, and only after sprinting through the airport in a bad imitation of O.J. Simpson commercials. If you're too young to recall those ads -- well, I'm too old to have to be imitating them.

Marzipan is dangerous. Who knew?


Tim of Angle said...

I defy you to tell the difference between marzipan and Semtex without smelling it.

Amy Sisson said...

I had pretty much the opposite experience. In 2001, we returned to the U.S. from Scotland. This was during the mad cow scare. The customs form at the time had one line for "Have you been on a farm, and/or have you brought back food." We'd been staying at a farm bed & breakfast, and literally the next farm over had been quarantined.

So we went through the customs line, and the agent said to us "What food do you have?" and we said "candy." He waved us through. Now, we've learned the hard way never to volunteer information. We'd checked the box, and he should have asked us if we'd been on a farm, in which case we would have answered yes, of course. We were less than impressed.

Mark said...

Ah, the joys of bureaucracy....

"Go, OJ, go!"

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Difference is, Tim of Angle, Semtex is tastier.