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Postal Humor


Monday of this week was the 50th anniversary of the introduction of ZIP codes in the USA, on July 1, 1963. I rarely sent letters until I started corresponding with cousins in France in 1967. Therefore I don't remember life without ZIP codes. I was amazed that the letters of one of my cousins arrived in a timely manner because of how she formed some of her numbers. One number in particular was her 4, which for the life of me looked more like the letter h. My ZIP code at the time contained two 4's and her number 4 looked something like the following picture, only even more h-like than this:

French 4

At the same time we were introduced to the official two-letter abbreviations for states, some of which made perfect sense — OH for Ohio, NY for New York, etc. But I still get confused about which letters go with some states. For instance, is AK for Arkansas or Alaska? And then all the M-states! Is MI Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri? Is MA Massachusetts, Maryland, or Maine, or even Manitoba, Canada?! Is MS Mississippi, Missouri, or Massachusetts? And why in the world did Missouri end up with MO instead of MOntana?! If you pick the wrong letters, that ZIP code could be really important!

If you want to explore this subject some more, there's a good page on it on Wikipedia.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the ZIP code, the humor will be postal without "going postal".


An airhead says to her psychiatrist, "I'm on the road a lot, and my clients are complaining that they can never reach me." Here's how their conversation continued:

Psychiatrist: "Don't you have a phone in your car?"

Airhead: "That was a little too expensive, so I did the next best thing. I put a mailbox in my car."

Psychiatrist: "So how's that working?"

Airhead: "Actually, I haven't gotten any letters yet. I figure it's because when I'm driving around, my zip code keeps changing."


A Facebook friend posted the following that is vaguely related to today's topic:

I NEED HELP FRIENDS! I have a stalker named Bill! You know who you are!

I absolutely HATE him! He keeps hanging around my house, despite my best efforts to get rid of him. I think he's obsessed with me! When I think I've finally gotten rid of him , he keeps coming back. I think he loves me! He comes with many aliases ... Phone Bill, Electric Bill, Water Bill, Gas Bill, and so on. If you drive by my house and see him, feel free to shoot him on site!

Is Bill is stalking you too?


A woman took a package to the post office to mail and was told it would cost $3.40 for fast delivery or $2.30 for slower service.

"There is no hurry," she told the clerk, "just so the package is delivered in my lifetime."

The postmaster glanced at her and said, "That will be $3.40, please."


Q & A about the postal system...

Q: What's the difference between a chess player and a postal worker?
A: A chess player moves every now and then.

Q: What do you call Bob the Mailman after he gets fired?
A: Bob.

Q: What would you get if the US Postal Service merged with Domino's?
A: Pizzas delivered 5 days late!


There haven't been too many famous quotations associated with the post office. The most famous is the one chiseled in stone above the entrance to the main post office in New York City:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Most people don't realize that the quotation is 2,000 years old. It comes from the Greek writer Herodotus, who mailed it in, intending it for the entrance of the post office in ancient Athens. But you know how the mail is....


I hope you Americans will have a super Independence Day celebration!


Reflecting recently on gym clothes from our high school days, "The girls' gym suits were 'one size fits no one!'" — Becka Loach


Why do they put up pictures of criminals in the post office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? It seems as if it would make more sense to put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mail carriers could look for them while they deliver the mail?

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8 Comments on “Postal Humor”

  1. #1 Jeremy Patterson
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 7:12 am

    This is a timely post (and funny)! We were just in Philadelphia and saw the first US Post Office next to Benjamin Franklin’s residence.

  2. #2 Rob
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Jeremy, I am amazed at what the Lord has allowed you and Mila see and experience in the past year! Looking forward to seeing you both again. Thanks for your comment.

  3. #3 Michael
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 8:06 am

    My understanding is that Herodotus was actually describing the “pony express” type mail service that was used in the ancient Persian Empire. They were very swift and efficient and in their delivery of messages and were aided by Persia’s vast and extensive system of roads. You see references to this service in a few places in the Old Testament when a Persian king wants to communicate with everyone in the kingdom.

  4. #4 Rob
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Thanks, Michael, for the historical perspective on that joke. 🙂 I’m sure their mail system back then was much faster than what we sometimes experience today. Why does it seem that bills never get delayed? 😉 I appreciate your comments and your good sense of humor, Michael! Miss seeing you!

  5. #5 Bruce
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 8:34 am

    You asked why bills never seem to be delayed. That’s because science has proven that bills travel thru the mail at twice the speed of checks. My dad is a retired postal employee, and he would enjoy this post.

  6. #6 Kathy
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Thanks, Rob. I may be a rare bird, but I LOVE the USPS. Who else will deliver a cheery greeting to my friend in a nursing home in WA, say happy birthday to an aunt in IL, or a Christmas card to a neighbor across the street for 48 cents? Who will take a box to missionaries in Chuuk or Alaska or Zambia for me? And then, to top it off, they print such pretty stamps, I want to keep them — especially the dog, cat, bird, flowers, and lighthouse ones 🙂 I love e-mail, of course, but sunshine comes in mailboxes. Someone I love just told me so last night. One more thing about USPS — as long as I’m able, the price of stamps OR gasoline will always be worth it for me. Mail and automobile drives: 2 of my favorite blessings in this great land. Happy Fourth!

  7. #7 Rob
    on Jul 3rd, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for your comments, Bruce and Kathy!

    Bruce, I had heard that statistic (sadistic?) about the relative speeds of bills and checks, but it’s good to have it now be part of this post. Is the check really in the mail?

    Kathy, your comment warmed my heart, and I’m sure many will identify with it. The cheery greetings don’t originate from the USPS. They come from full hearts, like yours. The USPS is just the handy, and honestly generally dependable, vehicle that delivers what you originated. Keep your joyful heart and keep spreading your cheer. Becka enjoys it more than you know. 😀

  8. #8 Don Johnson
    on Jul 5th, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Hi Rob, you all might think the USPS is bad, but Canada Post has this unique storage system…

    I recently received a letter posted in Greenville, SC on April 29. It arrived here on May 22. That’s no joke, it actually happened.

    Today I went to our post office to mail prayer letters to the US. I mailed them in a package to a supporting church with US stamps on them. I paid $15 for the package and saved $48 on what it would have cost to mail each letter individually from Canada.

    So… Happy 4th and enjoy your post office!