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5 Terrible Ways to Save the Post Office

Stocks in this article: AMZN NFLX UPS FDX STMP NWS

1. The porn stamp
Why not finally do for mail's most graphic component what porn has already done for every other visual medium in the history of humankind? Put explicit imagery on the stamps that propel our envelopes and maybe we can stimulate some sales as well -- probably more so than the usual assortment of flowers, pinecones, butterflies, historical personages and American flags.

Imagine instead buying a sheet of pornographic stamps that tells a tale (perhaps the tale of a delivered pizza and the coeds who have no money with which to pay for it) in classic sequence but infinite variety, with rising action, climax and denouement. Generous mailers might send a letter a day; cruel ones might send a letter a day and then stop short of the story being, um, resolved. And that might even prompt people to issue a surprising plea: "Please send more letters."

As a nation, we already spent $13.6 billion on porn last year, according to Business Pundit, with Utah being the top market for the stuff. Some 20,000 adult movies are produced just in California's San Fernando Valley, and there are more than 800 million rentals of adult videos nationwide. Ugly porn star Ron Jeremy alone has more than 1,200 films to his credit. Why shouldn't this stuff be on stamps as well?

Especially since the subject matter would make the stamps eminently collectible, meaning a growing market segment of philatelists would be paying just to take them off the market, then having to buy more to actually mail things. The possibilities are endless.

But can we, just for a moment, please think of the children? What if an untarnished mind stumbles across daddy's private stash of postage?

First, let's be clear: We're trying to bring in some money here. The prospect of junior high school kids sneaking into the post office to flash their fake ID and buy some stamps is less horrific than, well, hilarious.

But mail is already an adult concern in the dullest sense of the word. Our techy kids don't understand mail, and they don't want to. And most aren't home when the mail arrives. If your kid is home when the utilities bill and Restoration Hardware catalog shoots through that slot on the front door for the couple who lived there four years ago, what kind of parent are you, anyway?

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