Thursday, June 14, 2007

My dark and sinister plot bears fruit

I just learned a bit of information that is worth passing along, hopefully to the amusement and edification of one and all. About six hours ago, one of my Iranian friends heard a knock on his door. No, it wasn’t the morals police or other thugs out to do the ayatollahs’ bidding; rather, it was the mailman, there to hand my friend a package I had sent a couple of weeks before. He knew it was coming, as we had discussed it beforehand, and he told me this was something he would love to have. Apparently the Iranian postal officials examine the contents of any package sent from abroad -- especially, I would assume, if its point of origin is somewhere within the dominions of the Great Satan; but the packages usually pass muster and finish their journey, unless they contain pornographic material and such. So apparently my package was examined closely as well, and obviously it went through without problems.

I purchased this item two weeks ago this coming Saturday, and the store clerks were very interested in the fact that I would be sending it to Iran. They asked me all kinds of questions about the intended recipient, of whom I spoke very highly. But a half-hour later, at the post office, the clerk put me through a rather mild version of the third degree, by reading off a sheet of paper taped to the wall and asking me if I was certain that the item in my package was permissible under the existing sanctions against Iran. I replied that I was, because I had researched the law and personal gifts valued at less than $100 were specifically permitted, as were items of the same type and classification as the one I was sending.

Well, to make a rather long story a bit shorter, I am pleased to learn that my nefarious little plot has been successful, in that the item reached its intended destination without any problems and neither I nor my friend have been hauled off somewhere in handcuffs. When I returned home after mailing this item, I remarked to my wife about what a ridiculous story it would be if I were to get into trouble, and have to face the possibility of hefty fines and imprisonment, for what I had just done.

The store where I made the purchase, and where the clerks expressed so much interest in my intentions, was the Chandler outlet of Deseret Book; and the item in question – which I am gratified to know apparently passes muster with the authorities in Iran – was a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD titled “Consider the Lilies,” which I hope will give my friend and his remarkable wife many hours of listening pleasure.

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