Homeland Security run amuck.
FedEx refused to ship this persons containers even though they were *empty*. The reason they were refused was because of the words written on the outside! They said they looked like “bomb making materials” – even though they were empty!
This, I think, is rich: I just got back from the FedEx on Queen Anne, where I had been trying to ship a box of products from Greenwood Space Travel Supply to a potential client, just as samples of my packaging work.
I had them in a paper bag, mostly a collection of metal pint cans and a couple of brown apothecary jars. I was worried about how to pack them so they wouldn’t break, so I went up to the FedEx guy with the bag and asked him what kind of box I should use. He immediately pulled out—I think just by chance—the bottle of “Rocket Fuel,” which has a label that looks like this:
FedEx guy: Is this really what this is? Rocket fuel?
Me [laughing, used to this reaction from being at the space-travel supply store]: Oh, no, no, no. Of course not. It’s… made-up. Kind of a joke. It’s actually full of sugar, which I just put in to give it some weight, but that’s all it is.
FedEx guy: You can’t ship this.
The moral of the story seems to be that you should package up your “bomb making materials” at home before you bring them to ship.