In a move to stave off financial woes and death-watch buzz, the U.S. Postal Service on Monday announced that, for the first time, living Americans will be eligible to have their proud visages smacked on stamps.
Surely you remember stamps: tiny, sticky, square-y. Before we all filed our taxes electronically and wrote love letters with our thumbs, we used to do things the old-fashioned way. You know, mail stuff.
Originally, someone would have to be dead 25 years before they were considered for grand stampitude. The Postal Service eventually dropped that time limit to 10 years and then, in January 2007, to five years.
Now, in hopes of reviving business - the USPS lost $2.2 billion in the second quarter of this fiscal year - select famous folks will enjoy their postage prestige while they can still hear people complain about the choice.
'The main criterion (for the honor) is outstanding contribution to the U.S.,' says Stephen Kearney, executive director of stamp services for the Postal Service.
'We tried not to limit it up front,' he adds, 'although it is unlikely we would consider any politician currently serving in office or running for office.'
So President Barack Obama is out, and probably Sarah Palin, too. You have to be American. So bye-bye, Canada's Justin Bieber.
Such luminaries as Michael Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres and Rush Limbaugh, as well as the Boss, Oprah and the Material Girl, have been suggested on the USPS Stamps Facebook page.
The Postal Service gets 40,000 suggestions for stamp honors every year; typically 50 finalists are selected, with the ultimate vote going to the postmaster general. Postal officials aren't sure how this gambit will pan out, but they're excited about the reaction.
'It's not that there aren't enough deceased people to honor,' laughs Kearney. 'We're just hoping to be more timely, relevant and meaningful.'
From St. Petersburg Times - thanks to Michael