From a US Customs Service pamphlet:

Certain articles considered injurious or detrimental to the general welfare of the United States are prohibited from entry by law. Among these are absinthe, liquor filled candy ... lottery tickets ... seditious and treasonable materials, ... and switchblade knives (however, a one-armed person may import a switchblade for personal use.)

Later there is a section on "Piratical" copies of copyright material.





update 2005... this followed a writeup that matched the node title. now it is gone. if only the administration paid attention to continuity. ah well.

I recently drove to Alaska - it was one of the most stunning and incredible experiences of my life. Coupled with personal problems I was having with my car companion/partner/SO/whatever, it made for a very emotionally charged trip. But the most amusing part of the journey was thanks to the US Customs Guards at the entry point to Alaska.

See... Snack'ems was sitting on the dashboard. Snack'ems is a car lizard. He's a big, bright green, beautiful piece of fluff. Snack'ems has a personality - everyone can't help but talk to him. But try as we all might like to pretend, Snack'ems ain't real.

But the Customs guys certainly thought so...

Them: "Hey! You can't bring native life into the country without the proper papers!" We're told, sitting in line peacefully.

Us: Native Life?

Them: Oh, wait, is that real?

Us: What?

Them: The lizard!

Us: Oh. No. That's our car lizard.

Them: (Their turn to be confused) Oh. Okay then.

...And we're waved through. But seriously: Native Life? What are they teaching Customs officials these days? It's not as if we left American en route to Vancouver and somehow made a pitstop in the Bahamas...?

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