By Jeff Girod
On the brink of bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service is hoping to increase business by cutting deals with direct-mail marketers to deliver even more junk mail, according to CBS News.
The U.S. Postal Service plans to cram every last spare inch of your mailbox full of fliers, coupons, circulars, note pads, credit card applications and those super important looking envelopes stamped “Urgent” that are usually addressed to “Occupant.”
(And you thought your People magazine got wrinkled before. You just wait to see how smushed Angelina Jolie’s next adopted baby’s face is going to look in your mailbox.)
“We certainly have to fill in the void when it comes to revenue,” said Postal Service spokesmen Tad Kelley. “We’re talking about a national program where a company can take a look at direct mail from a 30-state or more perspective and say, ‘Can I reach more customers?’”
Yes, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep your postman from bringing you your “cheese of the month” catalog.
Last year, Americans received about 84 billion pieces of junk mail, according to The New York Times. This year, expect that number to multiply by 10,000! Wait, no. Sorry, I momentarily got caught up in the frenzied over promising and false enthusiasm associated with junk mail advertising.
Just this Saturday in the mail I received something called the Fearless Flyer, a coupon for an oil change, a Medicare information packet addressed to my 68-year-old mother (she lives 75 miles away), a personal invitation to the “Largest Gold & Silver Buying Event,” a brochure telling me to vote “no” on Proposition 32 (it’s a “deceptive sham!”), another postcard telling me to vote “yes” on Proposition 32 (it’s “the best opportunity you’ll ever get”), more cards telling me how to vote on Props. 31, 33, 37, 39 and 40, plus heartfelt endorsements for local political candidates Kevin Jeffries, Bob Buster and Ken Calvert.
I’m sure at some point in my life I’ve also received real mail from actual people who know me—imagine that!—but I’m sure their cards and letters were crushed into a fine powder from the weight of all my junk mail.
I guess we should all be upset by junk mail we receive, but I understand it. Email, texting and smart phones have made postage irrelevant. Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to write and mail a letter? I can barely sign my name.
Seriously, if you told me I had 5 minutes until my head exploded into meat sauce unless I found a postage stamp, I would be Ragu. Make it 10 minutes. Make it 20.
I’m not sure I could even drive to a post office. I would just have to follow a postman from house to house until he eventually got tired and called it a day.
The U.S. Postal Service is just doing what it can to survive. And really, what’s an extra pizza coupon or 10,000 in my mailbox? It’s not like my mailman is dealing crack or filming porn . . . yet.
I like mailmen. They’re a throwback to a simpler time when you could drive a tiny car without having to be a clown in the circus.
I can’t afford a maid or a butler, milkmen don’t exist anymore and my newspaper “boy” is a salty 62-year-old man who drives an El Camino. But a grown man in short pants, knee socks and a jungle helmet that will hand-deliver me letters? Woo-wee! I feel like a fancy Daddy Warbucks, Mr. Howell and Richie Rich bubble wrapped into one.
We’ve all had jobs where we were forced to do things we didn’t want to. If the U.S. Postal Service’s only two options are more junk mail or ceasing to exist after 237 years, then bring it on! Load me up with as many door hangers, magnet pads and perforated postcards as their bald eagle-stitched satchels will carry.
Who knows, maybe I’ll get the occasional greeting card—or at least a great deal on a garage door replacement and timeshare property.
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.