"Is you takin' notes on a... criminal conspiracy?!" November 6, 2017 7:26 AM   Subscribe

In the poster's defense, kinder eggs are delicious and almost as addictive as heroin. But still, maybe memail or email would be a better choice for composing a list of businesses who sell illegal goods? Especially since helpful answerers are including some phone numbers and addresses on a publicly-accessible and search engine-indexed thread?
posted by zarq to Etiquette/Policy at 7:26 AM (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Eh, it seems fine to me. Kinder Eggs are sort of famous for the unenforced absurdity of their illegality; shops selling them know this, people buying them know this, and as far as I have seen literally no one in law enforcement cares at all about it at a retail level because see previous re: absurdity.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:29 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Eh, it seems fine to me. Kinder Eggs are sort of famous for the unenforced absurdity of their illegality

The CPB claims they stopped over 60,000 of those ridiculous eggs from entering the country in 2011.

shops selling them know this, people buying them know this, and as far as I have seen literally no one in law enforcement cares at all about it at a retail level because see previous re: absurdity.

It seems dumb as hell to me to publicly list out a group of businesses (with their addresses and/or phone numbers!) that are doing something illegal. Whether or not law enforcement happens to be paying attention at the moment isn't really a factor. The FBI and NYPD don't pay much attention to the thriving black market in NYC for illegal booze or cigarettes either, until it becomes convenient for them to do so. Why make things easier for potential crackdowns?
posted by zarq at 8:15 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear, I'm not asking for mod intervention or making any kind of demand. This is not request for a pony. I'm simply asking the community to think about the wisdom of what they are doing.
posted by zarq at 8:25 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


I'll just point out that they're most likely to be carried in immigrant owned stores (at least from my experience) and I wouldn't put it past this current administration to be cruel enough to start deporting people over stupidly illegal chocolate eggs. I mean, not that I think they're reading MeFi, but just saying.

I hate this timeline.
posted by Ruki at 8:41 AM on November 6 [13 favorites]


Meet me behind the church at midnight on Thursday. Come alone and wear a carnation in your left lapel. Bring hard currency in a mixture of values and non-sequential numbers. The code phrase is:

"The squirrel only drinks tea when the moon is red."
posted by Wordshore at 9:39 AM on November 6 [19 favorites]


Speaking as the poster I am okay if the mods eventually choose to take it down.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


While we'll look at any removal request in context and generally abide by it, I want to be clear that I'm not comfortable with the idea of posting on Ask with the premeditated idea of having it deleted later.

Which, I don't know that you're saying that, EC, or are just saying that you wouldn't complain if we decided in the end to do so, but I do want to be clear about that general mod-side expectation about how people use the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:56 AM on November 6


I don't think EC intended for this, but I kind of agree with zarq and Ruki that having a thread that functions as a list of often-immigrant, probably-not-wealthy businesses doing something harmless but illegal is not my favorite thing in this particular timeline.
posted by lalex at 10:04 AM on November 6 [11 favorites]


Buying the eggs, as far as I know, isn't illegal unless you plan to resell them so no one here is engaging in a conspiracy.

I know we have a generally poor impression of the ability of assorted immigration officers in the US but I really doubt a metafilter post is going to be either the catalyst or a significant tool in stamping out the illegal kinder trade.

zarq: "The CPB claims they stopped over 60,000 of those ridiculous eggs from entering the country in 2011.
"

Anyone want to bet 99+% of those seizures were in a handful of bulk shipments. The number sounds impressive but if it mostly means a couple containers of eggs were seized it's kind of inflationary. Like the way cops always quote the inflated street value of drugs even when standing next to bales of unprocessed material.
posted by Mitheral at 10:45 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


....I don't know that you're saying that, EC, or are just saying that you wouldn't complain if we decided in the end to do so.....

Yeah, the latter is what I meant.

I was honestly surprised that these things were as verboten as they are - I just thought that, like, they just weren't sold here, but if you brought one in then that was okay. I was honestly and genuinely surprised to see that there were fines if you were caught bringing one in, and my ultimate goal in that AskMe was in trying to figure out a plan B (my "Plan A" was to ask someone to send me one, which I was realizing may put both them and me at financial risk). When people started to say "oh, but I've seen them for sale" my only point in asking for a follow up was a "really? where?" And my only goal toward requesting the addresses was to spare myself having to hit up every single candy store in Bay Ridge based on someone's vague recollection that "I think I saw one in Bay Ridge, maybe?.....Or maybe it was Ditmas Park?". The very real concern that a list of addresses could also get other shopkeepers into trouble was something I overlooked, no doubt because I may still have been blinkered by the whole "are these things really THAT illegal? That's wacky" blind spot.

So all I'm saying is that if the mods ultimately decide "yeaahhhhh, this is kind of hinky, we're gonna delete it", that I wouldn't kick up a fuss. That's all. Honest and innocent motive on my part, flavored with a gobsmacked shock at the lengths of the Customs Office and a soupcon of jet lag.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:22 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


I know we have a generally poor impression of the ability of assorted immigration officers in the US but I really doubt a metafilter post is going to be either the catalyst or a significant tool in stamping out the illegal kinder trade.

I think the illegality of Kinder eggs in the US is stupid and it makes me sad that we even have reason to be talking about this. I do realize it's unlikely that anything bad would actually come of the post, but I think zarq's point is more along the lines of these are things we legitimately need to think about.

EC, I do hope you found one, though!
posted by Ruki at 12:37 PM on November 6


yeah, you definitely get the kickass aunt award!
posted by lalex at 12:39 PM on November 6


the hell of it is that I was bringing back two but one unfortunately suffered from a structural integrity problem. :-/ However, the toy inside was kind of shitty anyway.

I have several leads on a replacement and will be hunting this week.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:50 PM on November 6


I'm going from the UK to Utah in almost exactly one year. What would I have to do to maximise how many kinder eggs I could bring through the backdoor by then?
posted by biffa at 12:56 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Ruki: I think the illegality of Kinder eggs in the US is stupid and it makes me sad that we even have reason to be talking about this.

I totally agree that the eggs being illegal is stupid!

I do realize it's unlikely that anything bad would actually come of the post, but I think zarq's point is more along the lines of these are things we legitimately need to think about.

Yeah, that's all I meant. I also didn't mean it as a critique of EC's post, on the off chance it came across that way. Thank you, Ruki.

Mitheral: Anyone want to bet 99+% of those seizures were in a handful of bulk shipments. The number sounds impressive but if it mostly means a couple containers of eggs were seized it's kind of inflationary. Like the way cops always quote the inflated street value of drugs even when standing next to bales of unprocessed material.

Oddly enough.... this is from 2011: Officials said they've seized more than 25,000 of the treats in 2,000 separate seizures.
posted by zarq at 12:59 PM on November 6


I also didn't mean it as a critique of EC's post, on the off chance it came across that way.

It didn't, at least to me; it's all good.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:12 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I feel like I come across two or three stories of small Kinder egg busts at the border every year, and yeah, people up here are always like "HOW IS THIS A THING I BET IF THEY WERE FULL OF GUNS THEY WOULD BE ALLOWED." Or at least that's the way I think about it.

Kinder Surprise egg seized from Eastern Townships man at U.S. border:

The border officer told Hebert the chocolates weren't allowed in the U.S., not even in an American trash can — he had walk to the Canadian side of the border to throw them away.

"When I got to the Canadian side, they weren't surprised," Hebert said.


Le sigh.

Buying the eggs, as far as I know, isn't illegal unless you plan to resell them so no one here is engaging in a conspiracy.

*slinks off*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:14 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this happens more than you might think. It's not always large stashes. It is just folks bringing them over for family and friends a lot of the time.
posted by Kitteh at 1:47 PM on November 6


"HOW IS THIS A THING I BET IF THEY WERE FULL OF GUNS THEY WOULD BE ALLOWED."

We have a solution! Make a large plastic gun that shoots them, and insist they are ammo and you demand your second amendment rights!
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:44 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


What would I have to do to maximise how many kinder eggs I could bring through the backdoor by then?

Oh dear God phrasing!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:51 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Back when I was in University, I used to smuggle them across the border for friends or take visiting friends on kinder-egg buying sprees around Toronto.

We called it the Kinderground Railroad.

I have nothing useful to add to the thread. I just still find that amusing some 15 years later.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:04 PM on November 6 [9 favorites]


There is a solution to getting Kinder Eggs to a friend in the USA.

1. Go to Canada.
2. Purchase a large hardcover book (any will do) plus a quantity of Kinder Eggs.
3. Cut the centre out of most of the pages of the book. Thankfully there are no librarians on MetaFilter so no-one here will object to this.
4. Put the Kinder Eggs into the now hollowed-out book. Fasten it closed with something discrete.
5. Go to this library. Enter through the Canadian entrance, or climb in through a window on the Canadian side.
6. Put the book on the correct shelf as though you are just putting back a library book you were browsing.
7. Exit through the Canadian door or window.
8. Contact your friend in the USA. Inform them of the book and shelf.
9. Your friend visits the same library, but this time enters through the USA entrance.
10. Your friend locates the book, and exits the way they came in. As the book is not tagged as a library book, no alarms will be set off.
posted by Wordshore at 5:58 PM on November 6 [30 favorites]


From Wordshore's link, Oh dear God phrasing!, the sequel: "The library relishes its role as a sort of free-trade zone for humans..."
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:55 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


That said, the link also mentions the same border running through the Haskell, Vt. Opera House; leave the eggs under a seat, and zero book destruction required.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:01 PM on November 6


Just use the book to smuggle full caffeine Mt. Dew into Canada completing the circle of smuggling inanely illegal items.
posted by Mitheral at 9:07 PM on November 6


Thankfully there are no librarians on MetaFilter so no-one here will object to this.

I AM RIGHT HERE.

Seriously, I have been to that library and your idea is genius.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:40 AM on November 7 [14 favorites]


I just recently went to that library! It was great. Also, I now want Kinder Eggs.
posted by defenestration at 7:44 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]


My mom used to have a supplier for these, and gave them out to my cousins each Christmas. I've been trying for twelve years to find a source of at least 3 dozen each year and have never even found one. She took her secret to the grave.

Also I feel like Arlo Guthrie should write a lengthy, memorable song about the travails of smuggling Kinder Eggs at Christmas.
posted by annathea at 8:27 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


They're easy enough to DIY.

In a double boiler, melt down some fair trade chocolate. Line an egg-shaped chocolate mold with chocolate, let cool and remove the chocolate shells. Briefly heat the edges of the chocolate egg halves in a pan. Drop in a small toy (or love note), seal the two halves with the melted edges together. Warning: hollow chocolate egg contains choking hazard. Don't eat the choking hazard.
posted by aniola at 5:31 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


I know we have a generally poor impression of the ability of assorted immigration officers in the US but I really doubt a metafilter post is going to be either the catalyst or a significant tool in stamping out the illegal kinder trade.

To me, the fear is less "hey they might organize a raid" and more "hey they might arrest someone for owning a business while brown, then google them and their store because that's easier than searching police records."
posted by solotoro at 9:55 AM on November 8


They're easy enough to DIY.

Yeah, but then you'd have a case where one kid gets the factory-perfect one that comes wrapped in the brightly colored original wrapping and has the new toy inside, and the other kid gets the lumpy mishapen one with imperfect wrapping and a toy scored off ebay at the last minute and that would not fly, believe me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:43 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]


No, see, then *you* get the factory-perfect one with a new toy inside and two kids get each get lumpy mishapen eggs with ebay toys.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:23 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


I already ate the one that crushed in my suitcase, and the chocolate was meh and so was the toy. (I'm actually considering that a gain because then I'm spared "Aunt EC? What is this toy? It's lame!")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:07 PM on November 8


You may be underestimating the special attraction of things that come out of eggs. While she was visiting this summer, I put out a 'magic egg' every morning that had some silly dollar store gift in it for my 5 year old niece. I told her the egg fairy brought them. (Then I quickly told her that the egg fairy lived in Toronto, because it quickly became very, very clear that she was planning to take the magic egg home and expected it would be filled with dollar store crap every morning for the foreseeable future.) And she loved all that stuff so much, even the stuff that was super dumb and didn't really work. Months later, she still periodically asks me if the egg fairy brought me anything that day.

Eggs filled with toys. Magic.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:13 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


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