Written by Phrank Phraser
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Saturday, 1 November 2003

Stamp of Approval

What, may I ask, has gone wrong with the great British stamp? Recently finding myself in the sod’s-law-situation of having an important letter to post but no damn stamp to stick on it, muttering through clenched teeth, I set out defiantly through the gloom and the drizzle towards the local Post Office.

Well, I couldn’t believe what they sold me. Clearly they aren’t stamps anymore but merely stickers with a picture of the Queen’s head on them.

I know that licking the old things was a rather unpleasant experience which required several pints of reassuringly expensive beer to remove the aftertaste from your palette, but it sort of felt…well…right.

After writing your letter, folding it carefully and then slipping it into the envelope, you applied your stamp after it had been carefully dampened by way of tongue.

There’s no doubt about it: tongues were made for stamps. They were programmed to dispense the exact amount of moisture required for the job. This licking action also gave a personal touch to your letter, acting as a kind of salival signature. Sadly, it looks as though that’s all gone now.

And what a kick in the teeth for all those philatelists out there! It just won’t be the same. How are they going to stick their stamps in their albums without damaging them? They won’t. They can’t.

What’s more, Britain’s stamp-hinge industry is close to collapse. What a catastrophic end to what was once a booming trade churning out millions upon millions of top quality hinges to satiate the demands of the nation’s ever growing army of stamp aficionados.

All these factories will be gone within weeks. Then what will they do with all the workers? Being such an unusual and specialist industry, it is difficult to see where they could fit them in.

They will all have to be retrained as security guards, that’s my bet. Then there will be a surplus of security personnel and so the only places for them to patrol will be the derelict factories where they once worked. By then all the frustrated ex-philatelists will have cracked up under the pressure and our mental institutions will be bursting at the seams.

Hear me well: this is only the beginning. This nation is on the downward spiral to chaos. Before long our stamps will not only be stickers, but they will be triangular shaped, and all our coins will have holes in the middle.

Remember: you read it here first.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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