Saturday, January 13, 2007 FedEx refuses shipment of made-up stuff, empty cans:

FedEx guy: Nope. You can't ship these either.
Me: But... they're empty! It's just air. And... nitrogen? It's, like, almost 80% of the atmosphere. There's nothing dangerous about nitrogen, even if it were pure.
FedEx guy: They look too much like bomb-making materials.
Me [going into dumbfounded mode]: Bomb... Neon? What? Is there anything here I can legally ship? How about this bottle of tap water?

I hand him a bottle of Certainty (tagline, "For when it's preferable to think you know more"), which looks like this:

FedEx guy: Nope. It still looks too suspicious, too much like bomb-making materials.
Me: But it's "Certainty." That's not even a thing. I just made that up. [That's not strictly true. It's a scientific term/idea, and we sell it alongside bottles of "Uncertainty." But it's like having a bottle labeled "Friendship."]
FedEx guy: It's just too suspicious.

[long pause]

Me [going into post-9/11, TSA-style super-dumbfounded mode]: So what you're saying is you can't ship any sort of containers, even if they're empty? You know that we originally ordered these empty cans and jars from a company, and *they* shipped them to *us*.

FedEx guy: They must have used a different vendor ["vendor"? I can't remember, some word like that, like a "service"].

Which I imagine he said because he couldn't bring himself to say, "It's the *words* that are *on* the containers that are dangerous"—even after I had opened them all and demonstrated the utter harmlessness/emptiness of the containers themselves.

8:09 AM