The Stamp of Disapproval


I’m not sure I know what to say.

It’s bad enough that the price of a stamp is going up to 42-cents on May 12, but do you have any idea what some of newest stamps look like? Do you want to know which stamp the creative brain trust at the United States Postal Service has determined will be among the first to bear the new 42-cent mark of the beast??




That’s right… one of the newest stamps in the pantheon of postal negotiability is an homage to “Jury Duty”.

What is the U.S. Postal Service thinking?

I’ve never been called for Jury Duty. My unregistered letters to appear always seem to get “lost in the mail” (damn you, Postal Service!!!!) though I heartily agree that Jury Duty is the civic duty of every American.

But even so, they’re putting what amounts to a verb on a stamp.


I mean, of the zillion other abstract nouns, pronouns and verbs they could’ve honored on a stamp, they come up with Jury Duty.

Why not produce a stamp honoring menstrual cramps?

Dryer lint?



Rhinoceros ejaculate?

Pre-spotting your husbands doo doo drawers?

A bag of generic cheese puffs?

Chimera twins?


Nail clippings?

Diarrhea inducing Giardia protozoa?







Britney Spears’ OBVIOUSLY confused and very over-taxed hairstylist?

Skin tags?


Rosie O’Donnell’s nutritionist?

Bacon bits?

Jena, Louisiana?

Toast points?

Leg scabs?


Gestalt therapy?

Heath Ledger’s life coach?


Moon Pies?

Rectal polyps?

Lung cancer?

Kevin Spacey’s ambiguous sexual orientation?



Nail fungus?

A gynecological speculum?

Breast implants?

Ron Popiel and cheap, Taiwanese plastic?

Tim Conway’s penis?

Still frames of celebrity colonoscopies?


See what I mean????????


But I just might be able to help you beat the US Postal System at their own game.

I’m talking about a time honored tradition called “franking”.

Like poor dental hygiene, it’s something we got from the Brits.

This is an explanation of franking from Lauriepedia:

It’s the marking of mail by a company or government that offers free or low cost postage privileges, or the convenience of sending bulk mail without using normal postage stamps. The practice dates back to the seventeenth-century British House of Commons. Franking privilege, typically granted to certain elected officials by a government, is the privilege to send mail for free. A franking privileged person adds his or her signature or a facsimile thereof to the upper right corner of a letter or parcel in lieu of a postage stamp.

Common uses of the franking privilege include replies to letter sent by constituents, and brief newsletters intended to keep citizens informed of the privileged member’s activities. Elected officials and the postal service are both endowed by the taxpayer.

You’ve gotten tons of “franked” letters from your elected officials. They’re the first ones you throw away.

They look like this:


And this is photo of a franking machine–probably very much like the one that mechanically placed this House member’s John Hancock in the upper right hand corner of the envelope.


But I recently read a post in a blog about nice lady who sent her friend a letter across country with only the word “FRANK” written across the upper right hand corner…where the stamp would normally be placed.

Damned if her friend didn’t get it…HE DID!!!! She included a photo of the envelope that had been canceled.

Could it have been a fluke? Maybe, but let me be perfectly frank, I’m going to try it myself.

If it works for me and my intended recipient, I’ll let you know.



  1. You must have missed the stamp issued in the 70’s that commemorated Tim Conway’s penis. The 10-cent Conway penis stamp was issued along with the 8-cent Vicki Lawrence’s breasts stamp and the 4-cent Harvey Korman’s belly button stamp in the Carol Burnett inspired series of stamps.

    Interestingly, Burnett did not get her own stamp…

  2. This is hillarious. I’ve been out of pocket for a while–glad to catch up on your posts. As an attorney, of course, I’m officially offended by your harsh treatment of this obviously wonderful stamp–but hey, while they are on the law theme, maybe they could include a cute picture of the electric chair on the next one or maybe a hypo needle or how about a picture of OJ smiling. Those would be grand.

  3. Andy, I know…how could they have not given Carol her own stamp? They could have featured her as Mrs. Wiggins…

    I am as outraged as you are!

  4. Andy…we have to work on your focus…

    Laurie came up with a zillion other abstract nouns, pronouns and verbs they could’ve honored on a stamp that in her opinion would be comparable to the postal service’s celebration of Jury Duty.

    Read them all slowly….or go to the bottom of the post and read the one 3rd from the bottom…

    I hope that helps. I have attention span issues as well, and I often struggle too (unless I am getting tips on how to stealthly drop a mud monkey from Laurie Industries)…

  5. I hate the government.

    How can something so expensive, be so crappy?

    My Mercedes is great.
    My furs are great.
    My jewelry is great.

    I spend (read taxed out of my ass) much more every year on government services, why aren’t they great too?

    I’m buying an island if I win the lottery. No more crap stamps. Who wants to come? You must be self supporting and own a sense of humor. There will be no stamps.

  6. Actually, the post office is self-funding; it doesn’t get your tax money.

    Revenue ▲$72.65 billion USD (2006)
    Operating income ▲$966 million USD (2006)
    Employees 800,000

    So if you want better stamps, become a graphic artist and apply for the job. 😉

    Or, if you don’t want to put THAT much effort into it… go to — they got the USPS contract for allowing customers to design their own stamps back in 2004.

  7. Say Rick, you missed a spot in your attempt to pee all over this post! Lighten up with the defensive posture, Dude, This is a funny piece & this blog is about satire. I see you in comments enough to know that you know this. You come in here with facts because you feel the need to get all Cliff Klaven on us?? So you have access to Wikipedi–big deal. Thanks for wrecking this for me, Dude.

  8. Rick,

    Sounds like you are a civil service worker.

    Lighten up. Don’t get all “postal” on Laurie’s blog. She will nail your ass! Don’t believe it? Read past comments.


  9. I used to run a postal meter like the one you have on your blog.
    I also just missed out on serving on a jury. Again, Laurie, you blog is perfect.

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