Ironic errand garners word of the absurd

During the nearly two weeks I spent with Fred in Scotland, we did a bit of clothes shopping on his behalf.  He needed a new kilt (he’s outgrown three in his lifetime and yes, he’s worn them, to such places as Zellerbach, as well as in Scotland) and asked that I mail him the sporan and other accoutrements. that he had left here in Nova Scotia.  Trouble is, the woolen knee high hose are nowhere to be found (although I’ve found two pairs of flashes) so I wrote to ask him if he had ideas about where else I might search (He’s a tidy person and stows things in logical order so it was a real surprise to not find sox with the flashes, etc.).  He had no further ideas to offer and asked if I would mind buying a pair here (there’s a Scottish shop that’s long on imports as well as on all manner of goods made in the Nova Scotian tartan) and mail them with the soran and flashes.

So, off I went this evening and had no trouble getting the hose.  I told the store owner the irony of my mission–very much in line with carrying coals to New Castle–and she laughed and said it was a darn good thing I was mailing them to Scotland and not to the US.

Apparently, come next Monday, wool is on the high risk import list with US Customs.  Yes, up there with alcohol, tobacco and weapons, there’s…wool.  And we aren’t talking sheepskins here (although animal hides are heavily restricted in importation policies, too).  It spells it out, as she showed me, as covering wool fabric, ribbons, and anything else made of that scary shorn sheep coat.

So, the sox are safe; I won’t go broke paying an import fee higher than the cost of the item, and Fred’s legs will be covered for the next ceilidh. Pity the poor Ohioan with a similar need.


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