The secondary heads' union is renowned for the quality of the speakers at its November annual conference and decided that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani might fit the bill of "leading learners", this year's theme.
The good news was that yes, Giuliani would be delighted to speak to heads in Scotland. The bad news was his terms and conditions - too rich even for the Headteachers' Association of Scotland's well-paid membership. His flat fee was $200,000 plus $7,000 a day expenses.
Then there was the hire of a Lear or Gulfstream jet acceptable to his specifications, plus the costs of his entourage of five.
"So he's no' coming," said Bill McGregor, the heidies' general secretary.
No doubt one of Scotland's civic counterparts could be persuaded to step in for the price of a cup of tea.