One of my personal objectives in life is to avoid, and I will go to great lengths to do so, having to enter the post office. My personal best is 96 days. Prior to this morning I was on a streak that had reached 84 days. My dream of surpassing my previous personal best has now been dashed. However, since my last visit, the post office has added a new "marketing" touch.

As I was standing in the usual "25 minute line," slowly making forward progress from the "outer lobby," I noticed something I thought quite ironic.

It would appear that this particular post office is actively marketing stamps of the twentieth century. To do this they have positioned on the wall, glaringly - and in bright red lights, a countdown clock. This clock, together with pictorials featuring "stamps of the sixties, stamps of the seventies," etc., is a horizontal digital display, starting with "days" and ending with hundredths of seconds, and is, in real time, counting down the time to the new millenium.

Its effect is one of a warning, though it has nothing to do with Y2K. Its apparent purpose is to remind the viewer that time is running out to purchase stamps of the current millenium. I suppose the presumption being made is that after 01/01/00, one will no longer be able to do so.

Perhaps that is the marketing plan, with or without assistance from Y2K......

With respect,

-- Dave Walden (, June 17, 1999


". . .Its all part of "Celebrate the CenturyTM" (CTC), the most ambitious and creative stamp program ever offered by the Postal Service.

"For the first time, the public will play a major role in determining the stamp subjects that will become a permanent record of the passing millennium," says Postmaster General Marvin Runyon, adding that CTC is also the first official American celebration for the century thats about to come to a close. . ."

-- Not Going (, June 17, 1999.

lest we forget, the century ends 12/31/2000. Not 12/31/1999.

-- J (, June 21, 1999.

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