Weighing a Stamp

8c1eb47b-a70a-463b-a77b-18c2dfc5de45-620x620In days of yore before the Internet, many of life’s odd little questions were directed to the reference desks of local libraries. Indeed, libraries continue to staff reference desks today.

A cache of such questions, neatly catalogued on cards, is now being published by the New York Public Library. They range from the quirky, “What does it mean when you dream you’re being chased by an elephant?” to the puzzling, “Why do 18th century English paintings have so many squirrels in them, and how did they tame them so that they wouldn’t bite the painter?” to the stuff of Mommy and Me blogs, “Where can I find something on the comical aspects of pregnancy?”

But perhaps my favorite is in the form of an exchange:

“Could you tell me the thickness of a US Postage Stamp with the glue on it?”

“Sorry we couldn’t tell you that quickly, why don’t you try the post office.”

“This is the post office.”

And why the post office needed to know that will remain one of life’s mysteries.

Film Friday: Mister Ed

Mister Ed 1Who remembers a silly TV series from the 1960s called Mister Ed? I thought a talking horse was hilarious when I was a kid and can still sing the theme song:

“A horse is a horse, of course, of course; and no one can talk to a horse, of course; that is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed!”

Go right to the source and ask the horse; he’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse; he’s always on a steady course, talk to Mister Ed.”

Mister Ed 2While my tastes — and television — have matured, Mister Ed and his 60s sitcom live on in Youtube. That’s where I discovered an episode entitled My Horse, the Mailman, which features Mister Ed trying to emulate the heroic deeds of his ancestors, namely, delivering the mail.

“Hi Wllbur, got any mail for the Pony Express?”

Mister Ed 3We see Mister Ed pick up a letter, steal a mailbag and wear a mailman’s hat and whistle, all while talking to the long-suffering Wilbur in his deep, deep voice.

Whenever people pine for the lost golden age of television, ask them why and send them the link below.

Film Friday: Do you give My Horse, the Mailman your stamp of approval?


Let’s Play Mister Mailman

Mr Mailman Board GameDespite many an article lamenting the end of snail mail, GameBrotherZ, a Canadian company founded in 2008, believes in the mail enough to have created the new board game, Mister Mailman. The objective? Four mailmen compete to see who will be the first to deliver 27 letters in Mailville.

The manufacturer states: “Welcome to Mailville, a quiet little town, but unique in so many ways! Once in a while, simply for the fun of it or for showing off their talent, our friendly mailmen stage a unique competition around town… to deliver a letter to each of the town’s households, to be followed by a final delivery to the luxurious O’Gilded Family Manor.”

With four letter carriers to deliver mail to fewer than 30 households, Mailville is indeed unique. It must make for a remarkably short post office workday.

But the point of a game is enjoyment rather than realism, and the game testers for The Noise on Toys website say that Mister Mailman delivers. According to Davey, “It’s fun. You can make someone win or lose. You can land on anything and sometimes you can change the weather.”

Change the weather? I like the sound of that. I bet your local letter carrier would, too.