Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Chatting with a friend led to the following line of dialogue: "They really should be putting you on a stamp instead of that rotten Mother Theresa". This raised the question of what it really does take to get yourself put on a stamp?

There's always the traditional approach--do something noteworthy, build up a base of fans, and then petition the stamp-issuing authority to put out a stamp featuring you. This is how Elvis did it--and after much controversy about whether to feature the "older Elvis" or the "younger, pre-Army draft, pre-bad movies, pre-bloating Elvis", he was immortalized in stamp form. This is also how the Pacific Blue Hawk did it, and the Mallard Duck--they ended up on stamps of their own. In other countries, simply being in power is enough--Hitler and Stalin and Lenin were on stamps, despite being awful human beings and not being nearly as pretty as a mallard duck.

But there's also another approach--one reserved for those of us who cannot do anything noteworthy or look like ducks or be bloodthirsty dictators. It goes in easy steps:

1) Pick a country with a lot of islands. Indonesia is good, but the Carribean is full of them if you prefer no airport layovers.

2) Get your buddies to inhabit the island, and make friends with the locals enough to outnumber those you're not friends with.

3) Vote to secede from the mother country. Need support? Just promise the U.S. government that the country you're seceding from is totally full of terrorists. (Note--during the Cold War, this would have been "communists" instead of "terrorists", but it's the same principle).

4) Print up your own stamps with your own likeness on them.

5) Profit.

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