Sealed with a lick

You know what’s disgusting? Licking envelopes to seal them shut. Who came up with such a gross way of performing a ridiculously mundane task? It’s a good thing that we rarely send out actual mail anymore, because I can’t imagine living twenty or thirty years ago, having to take care of actual correspondence with physical papers, being forced to lick a strip of glue just to seal my envelopes shut.

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And stamps too. You used to have to lick stamps. I’m getting physically ill just thinking about all of this licking going on. Here, I’m going to send you a letter. Lick. Lick. Why do so many bodily fluids have to be involved? It’s like, sticker technology has been around for a while. How much cheaper or more efficient was it really, instead of printing stamps and envelopes with a layer of sticker, to manufacture them with a thin strip of yellow glue?

How did that meeting go down where they decided on the first generation of lick-it envelopes? “Hey everybody, I’ve got a great idea for a new type of envelope. We’ll somehow get some glue and dry it right on the flap. When you want to close it, you just take your tongue and moisten everything up with your own spit. Then you mail your letter and your spit to wherever it’s supposed to go.”

I can’t understand how such a boneheaded idea not only made it past the drawing board, but actually became the standard for both envelopes and stamps. It’s like, everybody remembers doing it, and you’d get that nasty glue taste in your mouth afterward. You know what that tastes like? It tastes like glue. It’s fucking chemicals that you’re putting in your mouth, and then you swallow them. Nasty.

Like I said, this generation is beyond fortunate that we don’t have to deal with such antiquated technology. But it’s still around. Once every five years or so, I run out of envelopes, and so I have to put on my jacket and walk over to Rite Aid to buy another twenty-five pack. Usually it’s no big deal, like I said, the glue standard is thankfully no longer the standard. They’ve got these adhesive strips that automatically stick, so there’s no need to have a make-out session with a piece of paper.

But the last time I went, I accidentally brought home some of the old-fashioned relics. How did this happen? Did a case of glue envelopes get lost somewhere in the back, and now they were like, whatever, just sell them, like they’re just regular envelopes? I went back to demand a refund, but when it was my turn at the register, I realized that the whole pack only cost like fifty-seven cents, and so while I was still super pissed off, I didn’t really feel like getting into it with a cashier that probably had no idea that we ever had to live with such primitive pieces of paper in the first place.

It just goes counter to everything we’re taught as human beings. “Honey, don’t put that in your mouth,” our parents are telling us from an early age. Don’t lick the walls. Stop trying to put your tongue inside the electric socket. Stop eating dirt. But then it’s like, here, let me show you how to send a letter. Just lick, lick, lick, the more spit the better, and then share all of your slimy germs throughout the entire US Postal Service.”

Now I’m just really pissed off. I can’t even say anything that I haven’t already said. But I can think of like a million better ways to close envelopes. Tape. That’s much better. Glue sticks. Why couldn’t they just use glue sticks? Staples. Stickers. Melted wax. Come on, why did it have to be spit-glue? Half glue, half spit. One hundred percent disgusting.

Man, I didn’t expect to get this fired up. I’m just so surprised that the previous generation was so dumb. Thanks for the looming debt crisis. And years of inherited political gridlock. And climate change. Also, stamps and envelopes. You don’t go around licking random pieces of paper with glue on them. Period. Yuck.

One thought on “Sealed with a lick

  1. Ellie

    I think they are disgusting too but still quite common in UK. Over here they sell little sponges that you put water on so as not to need to get personal with the mail. I even remember not having a sponge and dipping my fingers in my tea to stick them in the past, now how disgusting is that!! Ban the glue!!

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