Saturday, October 1

Colbert's Ironic Commemoration

There was no way I could let this slide by. In actuality, I'm embarrassed that I haven't posted about it earlier: that's the level of my procrastination.

What you see is what it is: Stephen Colbert has designed (as anyone can, and as I have in the past) his own First Class rate stamp through The image is of his gleeful farewell to the U.S. Postal System via smartphone. (For the record, I'm an avid fan of Colbert.)

This is in reference to my prior post, about the struggling economics supporting the USPS. Reports I read in the news are conflicting: some suggest that the USPS will shut down for the winter, relegating all postal freight to private companies like UPS or FedEx; others, in line with the articles the Missive Maven cited, predict more moderate outcomes, such as losing Saturdays in the delivery cycle.

Either way, if you're thinking about shopping for postage, Colbert's levity provides yet another alternative. I just sent out a large batch of square postcards going out to global destinations. That's 98¢ plus a fee for using a square postcard--because there's no clear up or down on it, it has to be hand-processed. This fee used to be 13¢ but recently I sent some out and it seems the additional rate has gone up to 20¢. I was unable to confirm this on the USPS' website, indeed, I couldn't find any chart delineating the rates of variously sized postcards. I really need to buy one of those handy graphed mats the postal workers use, or else photograph one and design my own. In fact, that will be my next project, and when I come up with a definitive answer you know I'll post it here. Eventually.

I mean, sending postcards is tricky business. Did you know the stamps can go anywhere on the address side, but the USPS will process the lowest-appearing address (be careful when supplying your return address)? And you've got to leave four inches clear to the left of the stamps (in the upper right corner) to make room for the postmark. Postcards can be pretty tricky.

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