25 May 2009

Lilly and Betty were drug barons

well at least for a minute or two


One week ago Steve was sitting at his desk in the Australia Post International Mail Centre sorting through some of the 150 million parcels that come into the country each year. He was looking for something questionable. That's his job, after all.

In his 20 years of working in the Centre, his most exciting 'finds' have been parcels containing plants, soil, wood, seeds, nuts and animal products. These are all prohibited goods because they risk introducing some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into the country.
As important as he knew these finds were to the country, Steve was always hoping... for something more.
Steve loves his job. He carefully x-rays every package that comes his way and he uses Sebastian, a Labrador cross detector dog, to identify anything 'suspect' and to find items that contain a certain 'odour'.

Last Tuesday, as Steve was sorting the mail, he noticed that Sebastian kept circling one package in particular. Around and around he went, in a mad and frenzied dance.

Steve quickly jumped from his seat, gave Sebastian a treat and picked up the package.

He examined it carefully. It was posted from South America.

He turned it over. And over again.

From Betty. In. Paraguay. To Lilly. In. Canberra.

“I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g”, he muttered under his breath.

Something told Steve that this was going to be B-I-G. He could feel it. Even the hairs on his arms stood up in anticipation for what was to come.

Maybe, just maybe, this would be the big break he had been waiting for.

His mind started to wander. There were flashing images of guns, drugs, pink wigs and a shady underworld.

“Paraguay”, he murmured, “let me think. I know that’s the place that has long attracted Utopians dreaming of paradise but isn’t it also a major transit country for Andrean-soured cocaine?”

Betty”, he said, shaking his head, “is more than likely just a cover for some Mr Big, with Colombian connections, who operates out of Ciudad del Este."

“And Lilly", he sneered, “is probably some machete wielding drug lord in the Nation’s Capital hiding behind some politician’s brazen bravado.”

He sat down at his desk, toying with the package for a while before slowly opening it.

Inside was a note. A Thank You note. From one 'blogger' to another.

“Blogger?” he said out loud, “Is this some kind of new fringe English for trafficker?"

He grew excited. Perhaps he had stumbled on a massive network of international ‘bloggers’ who were sending ‘suspicious’ packages from one country to another.

"These so called 'bloggers' are probably making the world a more dangerous place one package at a time. Well they're about to be busted!", he shouted to an ambivalent Sebastian.

He slowly pulled out a wrapped object from the padded package. And carefully unwrapped it as if it was an 1000 year old egg.

It was a beautiful wooden key holder.

That’s really top quality, he thought to himself.

But what was it hiding? And what did the name mean?

The note said the holder was 'made from Palo Santo which is only found in the Chaco'.Was that a special code for something more sinister, Steve wondered.

He lifted the holder closer. And breathed in deeply. It had a powerful, mystical aroma. One he had never come across before.

However, without another thought,

HE SNAPPED IT IN TWO. So certain was he of what he would find.



Except.........................................there was NOTHING. NOTHING!!!!!
No white powder, no termites, no bark, no insects, no larvae. Nothing.
A tinge of disappointment soured Steve's expression. He quickly repackaged the broken holder and note. He hurriedly inserted a leaflet into the packet to explain that the item, given it was wood, had been opened and inspected by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

He put the parcel in the collections tray and went back to processing the 10,234 other parcels he and Sebastian had to get through before they could call it a day.

However, he couldn't stop thinking...... about Betty and Lilly ......and wondering who the hell they really are .......and what the hell this 'blogging' caper is all about ....

Betty, A BIG THANK YOU FROM ONE BLOGGER TO ANOTHER. The parcel had an exciting journey it seems! I have never had AQIS examine anything ever before but they did it because it was made of wood apparently. This has to be the story behind it, surely. Bloody Steve! The bloggers werent busted but the key holder was! And a teensy tiny bit of glue was all it took to get it back into one piece. Yes, Australia has the tightest border controls in the world. I love the Palo Santa wood and love its aromatic incense and I read that it purifies and gets rid of evil spirits, misfortune and calamity. Let's see how powerful it is.


Note: Steve and Sebastion are fictional characters. Any resemblance to any persons or dogs working for AQIS is merely coincidental and is the result of the overactive imagination of a certain ‘blogger’. As for Betty and Lilly, well that is a whole other story...to be continued.

88 comments:

  1. Like I said, funny and entertaining! :)

    hahaha I had a good laugh imagening "Steve" how he thought he would find something "INSIDE" the wood!

    I´m glad you were able to fix it and hope it reminds you of how great the whole blogging world is!

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  2. hahah that is so funny. I could imagine the anticipation of finding the most exciting object of true suspicion; drugs, dirt, a tree branch, and to the disappointment of a failed promotion a blogger gift!! hahahahahaha I loves it. Stopping by from SITS

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  3. Without another thought, he snapped it in two with his bare hands.And a teensy tiny bit of glue was all it took to get it back into one piece.Awww,... seriously,... they broke it? Darn 'Steve' is in desperate need of some excitement!

    Great read though,... very funny!

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  4. Very funny! I would be disappointed too.

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  5. Oh, that shit!! Was there another note of apology from Steve in that package when you got it?

    And you know, I've always thought that you and Betty are just far too nice. You must be hiding SOMETHING! lol

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  6. conspiracy - people love them

    Do you really think the inspector broke the wood?

    Well if Betty is sending anymore she should hollow out a section and place a note to the inspector in it.

    So you guys are spies?

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  7. Ahhh. that was a good read!!!

    Lol! I'm am certain that is exactly what happened!!!

    Loved it!

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  8. I am positive that Steve exists. Right down to the dog! Fantastic post.

    sorry about the misfortune though!

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  9. I'm sure they never apologized for breaking it. how sad.

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  10. the problem is Steve was looking for something INSIDE the wood - when really the "drug" you two share between you is via the blog. perhaps, you should have signed it with your blogging url's... hehehehehe!

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  11. What a hoot! I, too, am sure that's probably exactly what happened!

    So, you're building an international reputation for being a dangerous broad, huh?

    Love it! Give 'em hell, Lilly!

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  12. Came over from Betty's to read about you 2 "bloggers". So funny. Guess it made an exciting day for "Steve" whom ever he/she was!!! Glad it was repairable.
    Susan

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  13. I am a bit surprised that the AIQS doesnt have some kind if scanning thing to see if something is unnaturally put inside an article. Such a pity that he broke it into two. I mean , its OK that you stuck it back together. But i just feel the guy had no business breaking it into two pieces.

    I have heard about people who swallow thngs and go through customs. And I never heard of anyone breaking them into two....

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  14. So much fun to read ...........

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  15. Awww, too bad they broke your lovely gift. I'm so glad you were able to repair it!
    Coming home from Paris customs ripped open a calendar my daughter bought for my son entitled "Big Boobs." I guess the French have their priorites too...LOL
    Have a Happy Day, Lilly!

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  16. You could be a writer for any number of American television shows-- CSI, Law & Order and definitely Desperate Housewives-- this is right up their story line alley-- And it would be perfect for a Leno or Letterman monologue too! This is a very funny post!

    Maybe it's time for you to branch out Lilly and "go Hollywood"-- One of these days you could be thanking the Academy at the Emmy Awards :-)

    Great post!!! More please!

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  17. You had me on the edge of my seat! I'm glad the glue fixed it... xo

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  18. You just never disappoint my dear woman, that was hilarious! I can totally visiualize the fun you had in concocting that whole story!! So glad the glue fixed the holder, and I can just tell how beautiful it must be!

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  19. hahaha...for a moment, I thought you were serious! hahaha =)

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  20. You have a very vivid imagination and a wonderful story to think about each time you look at that wood from your friend Betty in Paraguay.

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  21. OMG the sad thing is Lilly that it probably did happen exactly like that. They would have broken it in two to get a look at it iside to make sure it had nothing in it. How funny are you and so glad it could be repaired ok.

    You know what I think would work? A reality TV series about Steve. Every day would be full of anticipation of him uncovering the big drug bust!!! Shame he didn't know the real you and Betty lol!!!

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  22. Oh and I thought Canada Post was bad! I have had packages that have never made it to me and others that were sent to my friend in AU that never made it to her for the kids. To-date they are still waiting for their Easter Chocolate! :o)

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  23. you know, I read this whole post through thinking you were talking about your husband, and was convinced the dog circled the package because he knew your name and had some doggie premintion going on. Labradoprs called Sebastian are extremely clever, I should know!

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  24. What a fabulous post. You kept me at the edge of my seat. You Aussies do have the most stringent Customs rules which is actually a good thing considering what's come into Hawaii. My unopened trail mix got taken away because it had roasted banana chips in it. Sigh.

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  25. You gave me intrigue, suspense and a chuckle. While the fictinal but clearly not far off the mark Steve was checking out your package - some real contraband probably got through!
    Thanks for being you.

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  26. Oh that was hilarious. Like Kay I once had things taken out of my suitcase when I landed there and I also had to take off my shoes so they could check for dirt. That was when we were having the foot and mouth disease problems.

    This was so funny, you and Betty taking on AQIS like that. I personally am thinking this is a great conspiracy theory. Bloody Steve indeed but so glad you could fix the key holder. That wood sounds great, Betty should export it lol!! Wonder how easy it would be to get into the UK.

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  27. What do you eat for breakfast Lilly, because I want some. Are you sure you that white stuff you are sprinkling on your cereal is sugar? Loved it, what a hoot.

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  28. of course, this is all Sebastian's fault!

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  29. Thanks for your comments, and thanks for having a laugh Betty. I do not know if AQIS broke the holder or not to find something but may have done so gven all the additional handling. They did open the package and have a look and had to examine it. My mind is a litle overactive at times so I thought I would write it down as I imagined it happening. Betty is an absolute sweetheart and I love my piece of Paraguay!!! Um just hold off on all the flowers I know you want to send me. They would just make Steve's day not mine!!!

    And as for Sebastian, you are so right Christine, I better put a disclaier aobut him in there too otherwise I can see a lawsuit heading my way, pesky dogs!!

    And yes its time we had a film about bloggers!

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  30. dang, lilly... quite the imaginative tale you told... love it! :)

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  31. @ laughingwolf, er yes, I should apologise for dragging Betty's name through the mud like this.....lol!!!!!!!1

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  32. wow...that's sad...sorry your gift got broke, but wish that guy worked at the borders here between texas and mexico, might be fewer illegals coming across.

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  33. Ohhhh so funny. That happened to me when an internet friend from USA sent me cornbread mix ...I did get it though!

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  34. Ohh that's really too bad! I also love receiving package from friends around the world - I got one from Japan recently.

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  35. @ yellowdog granny - yes they are tough on illegals here too - overly so at times I think.

    @ Sarah lulu - I am coming over to see if you are a grandmother yet.

    @ Jade - woo hoo lovely to see you. No, the gift is fully restored with some wood glue and you would hardly know that Steve took to it with his bare hands.

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  36. Too, too funny. I will never post you a thing again, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

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  37. That is a wonderfully funny post Lilly. :-)

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  38. Oh - this is a brilliant post! So glad you could fix the wooden key. Please publish a photo of the 'offending' key - I'd love to see it!

    Seems to me as if Steve also has an overactive imagination!

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  39. That bites! (love the story though) I can totally imagine Steve-o thinking he had his big break!

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  40. I'm visiting from Betty's. Too funny!!! LOL I'd love to see a photo of the offending item. Poor Steve - he was so certain he'd busted the biggest drug ring to hit Australia in years.... And all he got was a note holder. LOL

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  41. @ Stefan - well flowers and food are out anyway, otherwise Steve our friendly 'suspicious package catcherer' gets the lots.

    @ SHST - you know that I know how sad I am that I can make up a story about something as simple as this, don't you. I just kept imagining what the person who opened it up must be thinking and ended up with the post. Mmmm, some of us need a life, lol!!

    @ AIN - yes, poor things it must be a big thing when hey do find somethign and where would we be without them. I will ask Betty if its ok to post and I will do it.

    @ Cairo - yep he must have had a disappointing day and I got a surprise when I opened it too. I can't say for sure he broke it but inside info from somwhere else suggests that they may just do that to determine if there is anything in the wood. I will post the pics in the next day or so if Betty says its ok.

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  42. Check your Google stats... I can just imagine how many hits you'll get with the words 'drug baron'...

    Hey, I've just discovered I didn't win Giveaway 4. Awww... I'm shattered! Re-count??

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  43. Hey that will be interesting except they probably will call them drug lotds instead. Maybe the police will come knocking on the door or AQUIS instead, oops! I know I personally would have loved those prints too.... I do not know the person who won really except she comes from the USA and at least she has a blog as many didnt even have a blog.

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  44. that would be 'lords' and not 'lotds' - my typing is apalling!!!

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  45. That is funny. I had a good visual of Steve chcking out the package and being sure he had stuck gold. fools gold unfortunately.

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  46. Go ahead and post a picture! I have no problem with that.

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  47. Too funny, Lilly. I could not read this fast enough!

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  48. ROTFL - you HAD me.... Thx for the giggle! If 'Steve' had gotten ahold of MY Betty parcel... he would have gotten sticky fingers coz she sent me the most yummiest jam. I still to this day can't believe they allowed that thru the border. {licking my fingers}

    Thx for sharing

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  49. You two gals behave yourselves!!

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  50. Lils!

    What a funny *story* -- I'm still giggling from it! It's funny, I can relate when I did my blog candy thingy. My blogger buddy from Spain and I exchanged gifts and we were both worried about the packages making safe passage to each other! I had similar images in my mind of the suspicion, the possibility of the packages being ripped apart by agents! The fact that they made it safely was as intriguing as whether my new found friend on the other side of the world would luv it or not! I felt like James Bond's GF. hehee...

    ;)

    Awesome story, girl! WRITE US MORE!!!!

    {xoxo} Juls~

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  51. Very funny story as usual and you tell it so well. Hope your memorial weekend was fun, thank you for coming by.

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  52. LOL. Kep them guessing, is what I say. Wrote you up again, btw.

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  53. Great story, I'll look forward to reading the rest.

    I linked here from Mervat's site. Wanted to say I liked your response to her about your 8 year old speaking to that large group. I have kids speak in church at that age b/c they aren't nervous and if nurtured right, they never will be. Good comments.

    Warren

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  54. I'm so sorry that someone broke a gift to you. How rude! I have half a mind to send something to you that is scented and wood and attach a note inside that states, "AQIS - this is NOT for you!"

    Cute story though ~ excellent writing.

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  55. Oooo, cliffhanger!

    *on edge of seat*

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  56. I can so relate to this story (or rather my sister can). She had a 4 leaf clover business card size lucky charm type thing held against its will by Aussie customs.

    Her choice was to get it fumigated for $150 or get it destroyed for $55. When she questioned the cost, they "generously" offered to get it destroyed for $45. The hilarious part was, it was originally bought in Australia and she's pretty sure it's made entirely of cardboard.

    Bloody Steve strikes again!!

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  57. This was brilliantly funny...so nice to know that postmasters, the world over, are the same! LOL

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  58. Bety and Lilly what if you get AQIS knocking at your door. How funny, you may have just given them a great advertisement for being so funny. They should pay you.

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  59. Oh my you all have such good stories yourselves,

    @ Rhonda, no letter of an apology just a leaflet.

    @ Lisleman, yes I do. Seriously.

    @ Emma P - true - you look curiously like a blogger from PA with 10 kids no?

    @ Mrs Miles - jam - sticky fingers, hilarious. No Stever would have kept the jam.

    @ Juls, yes not sure aobut Spain, Oz is like a very strict boarding school and its a good thing give nwe live on a big island.

    @ Warren, thanks yes letting kids fail and get back up again is important but some things we are also born with. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Aleta - too funny...and sweet/

    @ Sami - now that beats my story totally. How twisted is that. She bought it in Australia but not allowed to bring it back in and it COST that much? For cardboard? Now I dont feel so bad...thanks for dropping by.

    @ The Muse, yes they are the same.

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  60. This is freaking hilarious I bet you are one sarcastic person but hilarious at the same time. I think I might email this to AQIS and give them all a laugh.

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  61. Stopped by to say hello! ... so short on time this week ;-)

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  62. Oh Lilly I wish you could send this blog post to AQIS....I am sure they would have a great laugh. Can you imagine if there really was a Steve and a Labrador cross called Sebastion working there!

    This piece would also make a great short film. Have you ever thought of submitting some of your work?

    Anyway thanks for my "Lilly fix" today....I am a happy little vegemite now!

    Cheers
    Peggy

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  63. @ Peggy - glad it made you smile as ridculous as I am. No, I have never thought of submitting anything. I spend too short a time in writing it really and it just comes to me and I type away. One day maybe but thank you for the vote of confidence, it means a lot coming from someone ike you Peggy. Happy little vegemite, that you are. I shall be over for a visit. Soon.

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  64. Oh dear!! That was something .. hehehehe I was smiling ear to ear :)
    Sorry abt the snapping of the key holder, but glad that you could fix it.

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  65. Bloggers = traffickers, well aint that the truth. Never have I seen so many people take so much interest in everythng to do with traffic. Funny post. And I can imagine this in a short film too.

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  66. @ Stefan - he he, traffickers, you are right bloggers lover traffic, just not that kind of traffick.

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  67. How successful has AQIS been in preventing the introduction of noxious pests and plants? It's late spring here, and I'm watching my American Elm drop leaves that are covered with little nodules of some sort. And they're warning us to beware of gypsy moths. And not to move firewood from one area to another.

    Because the US hasn't been very successful at it.

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  68. @ Jeanne - no they have been pretty successful I think. Its tough to get in and out here, airborne or not.

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  69. What a great 'story' and you know what, its probably 99.9% true! I've had one package opened - promotional magnets. Go figure.

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  70. Magnets? Hey Annette, I always knew you jewellery makers were suspect!!!

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  71. great post! I loved this story,,so glad you were able to fix it.

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  72. Lilly that was fabulous.

    Poor Steve. He was hoping for the "big one" for his upcoming book "Australian Border Patrol: The Story of the Betty/Lilly Bust" but had to settle for a bit of petty vandalism!

    Pearl

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  73. Lilly that was fabulous.

    Poor Steve. He was hoping for the "big one" for his upcoming book "Australian Border Patrol: The Story of the Betty/Lilly Bust" but had to settle for a bit of petty vandalism!

    Pearl

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  74. Speaking of mail ... I received a gift from Australia yesterday! There it was ~ a sweetly decorated envelope made from a child's story book. Inside was a post card and precious little pin wrapped in story book paper(a rabbit with 'we must get ready' printed on him.) It was from REread. I had totally forgotten I has won it so at first it was a huge mystery!

    Glad there was no Steve involved.

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  75. @ Dawnie and Pearl, thank you!

    @ Helen - oh sounds sweet, wonder what Steve was p to if he let that through lol!

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  76. You TOTALLY had me - ha ha.

    I am gullible enough to believe anything and I was sitting on the edge of my chair reading this story.

    Good one! You are talented.

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  77. All I can say is, Wow. So sorry Steve broke your keyholder. Glad you could fix it!

    Kind of reminds me of when they took away my hairspray and mousse at the airport because, obviously, I am a world-class criminal and had some evil purpose in mind . . . ;-)

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  78. Liily;

    I was facinated with your story...and LOL at the end. Then I said Oh shit...he broke it, Oh no, how could he ...!!! Glad you were able to glue it back...

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  79. Vandals and barbarians!! As well, as ignoramuses!
    What a beautiful present! So glad you could fix it!

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  80. @ Cherie - oh no, did you think Betty and I were dangerous? LOL!!

    @ Renae - yes to steal our beauty products at the airport is the pits!!

    @ Peggy - you said it, oh shit indeed but glue is a miraculous thing, thank goodness for Steve!

    @ Roshni - Steve was doing his job just a shame it happened but all was fixed in the end.

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  81. Now that was absolutely brilliant.

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  82. Lilly
    Here's a little roo I put together.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyGJBr9do8E

    Now this kit was shipped from Japan with no problem.

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  83. @ Lisleman like roo, as in kangaroo. I am too scared to look........

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  84. Great story ... love how your mind works!

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  85. @ Mark, given I think you are a psychologist, your comment is extremely troubling to me. lol!

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  86. I'm not that considerably of a on-line reader to be honest but your web-sites really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading what you have to say.