1/04/2014

Mayor McCheese

I learned something new this holiday season, no mean feat as I very inactively lounged around in (I don't have to work and you can't make me get dressed) pyjamas for the better part of two weeks.

A while back, I'd watched and enjoyed the Beekman Boys television series chronicling their efforts at  transforming themselves from city to country mice and their farm into a successful business.  

One of the products they produce intrigued me - Blaak cheese, a blend of raw goat and cow milk which is aged in a vegetable based ash.  Not wanting to forgo my pyjamas and travel all the way to Sharon Springs to buy some, I used the magic power of the internet to order some up.  I also bought some Balsamic, Elderberry and Fig Drizzle for the cheese and got them to throw in a couple of coffee / tea mugs.  My credit card barely balked at the thought of international shipping costs.

As I waited patiently for my gifts to arrive, I continued to lounge my way through a fairly crippling ice storm and 27 hours without power (we were lucky).  This happens to be the same amount of time it takes for the charm of ordering pizza in the dark to be lost.   

On Christmas Eve, my bounty arrived by courier and while everything was very well packed and wrapped, one of the mugs was broken.  Their customer service was amazing and they let me know they'd ship a replacement mug "Priority" with no questions asked.  Also amazing?  Blaak cheese and the drizzle!  Thanks Beekmans!

A couple of days ago, I received a call from the courier company telling me that all cheese imported to Canada has to be inspected by Customs and they'd requested the shipment I was about to receive be provided for review.  The representative explained that in releasing the package to Customs for inspection, I would then received the package and a bill equal to 246% of the cost of the cheese as a duty import charge.  Who knew the Canadian cheese people had such a powerful lobby group?!

Her "uh oh" when I said the cheese had already been delivered, devoured and delicious told me someone was in trouble.  She agreed it was their error and she would contact Customs to explain what had happened.  She warned me I might still get a bill from them for the full duty amount.  

We chatted briefly about the Beekman Boys as she remembered them fondly from their season of The Amazing Race and we chuckled about the fact that while ignorance of the laws of your own country is no defence, when you're stupid and hungry, strange things can happen.

Yesterday, my replacement mug arrived and the box was fairly covered in Customs inspection tape.  The outside label mentioned the cheese and the inside duplicate bill showed the previous purchase so this may be what piqued their interest in the contents of the already delivered package.  

If a bill shows up, I guess I'll have to pay it but the next time I get a hankering for Blaak cheese, it may just be cheaper to pull up stakes and move to America.  Is there room for one more on the farm Josh and Brent?  



7 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Evidently the Canadian cheese cartel wasted no time after the announcement of the new domestic cheese protection laws, in donning their brass knuckles and smashing your new mug, Just because they can.

Dale said...

I'm glad it was just the coffee mug and not my other mug Barbara!

X. Dell said...

1. When cheese turns black, I usually pitch it. The last thing I do is order it from abroad.

2. Hope you didn't eventually get that bill. But if you did, at least you got something nice on Christmas Eve.

Dale said...

X. Dell! You'd like this black cheese, just not the import duties. Thankfully, I didn't get the bill after all. It'd be cheaper to just fly to the US and pick some up next time!

Dread Pirate Jessica said...

It's luck of the draw, how hard Canada Customs screws you over. But it's always unfair.

Les Becker said...

Dale....? You haven't posted since January. Did the cheese kill you?
Did Canada Customs kill you?!

DALE?!

Narrator said...

Where's the latest from Dale? This hiatus is unacceptable!