Thursday, August 31, 2006

What part of "Please Do Not Bend" does the Postal Service not understand?

I have been collecting autographed photos through the mail for more than 8 years now, and there is one major pet peeve that I have with the hobby which continues to rear its ugly head time and time again - all thanks to the fine folks at the United States Postal Service.

Of course, I am referring to the fact that although my self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASE's) bear a large red "Photos: Please Do Not Bend" stamp, my mail carrier somehow manages to fold, mutilate, crush, tear, crease, or get this, BEND, my autographed photos. And its not like I have a miniature mailbox where the mail carrier has to fold the envelope for it to fit into the box. In the recent past, I have resorted to placing a piece of rigid cardboard in my SASE to prevent this issue and this has seemed to help. The problem comes when a celebrity mails an autographed photo back to me without the cardboard or in their own envelope.

Maybe I should use a little reverse psychology and stop stamping my envelopes with the "Photos: Please Do Not Bend" stamp. Maybe it calls attention to the fact that I have an autographed photo in the envelope that I would like to have in one piece and NOT BENT. Perhaps its an irresistible urge to do what I am requesting that they not do - sort of like a child testing authority - touching a painted wall that says "Wet Paint" or running on the grass where a "Please Keep Off The Lawn" sign is posted.

Thanks, U.S. Postal Service - you make this hobby a challenge sometimes. But I will not be defeated. Oh, by the way, can you tell me how many stamps I should include on my next SASME - Self Addressed Stamped Metal Envelope?