Considering the amount of mail the USPS moves each year—more than 200 billion pieces in 2008—it’s fair to say that the vast majority makes it to its destination safe and sound. Every once in a while, however, the mail system chews something up and spits it back out.
Such is the case with this battered and bruised envelope that contained payment for my electric bill.
The folks at the utility company didn’t even bother to open this one up, electing rather to simply return it to me with a note saying my check could not be processed. As the scan shows, the cover is enclosed in a USPS “body bag,” a plastic bag used to carry the remnants of destroyed envelopes to their intended recipients.
Amusingly, the postmarks on the stamps aren’t in much better shape than the cover itself. Someone at the post office apparently inverted the “25” of the date when inserting it into the postmark device, leaving the date upside down in relation to the month and year!
I wrote a replacement check to the utility company, and plan to keep this cover and “body bag” intact. If nothing else, it’s an interesting conversation piece, and one that I would not own had everything gone right.
Do you have any covers that like this one look as though they could tell a war story or two after doing battle in the mail stream?