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The Slice: Putting your stamp on it just isn’t the same

Not everyone wants to pay bills online.

It’s not always the case, though, that these holdouts are technophobes. Some are quite comfortable with computers and regularly keep in touch with friends and family via email and social media.

This creates a little problem.

Because postage is required to pay bills the old-fashioned way, these people have to buy stamps. And some of them have long been in the habit of carefully choosing certain stamps for their appealing graphic design or theme.

But if much of your personal correspondence is conducted online, that pretty much means most of your postage will be used on bill payments.

That, my friends, is a bit of a bummer.

You can take it from me. There’s not much pleasure in affixing an attractive stamp to the envelope containing your monthly check to Avista.

It’s true. Trying to decide whether to employ a striking Atticus Finch stamp on your Comcast bill or maybe stick a gorgeous save-the-tiger stamp on your payment to Chase Card Services just isn’t all that satisfying.

It would be one thing if you could imagine some clerk in Chicago or Phoenix deriving a small bit of pleasure from seeing your stamp. But surely that’s all handled by automated sorting systems. And, besides, anyone involved in actually wrestling with the mail would see such a volume that the glaze-over factor would prevent any true appreciation of non-generic postage.

Still, some envelopes go to offices that probably see a relatively modest amount of mail — say, the local Humane Society or your accountant’s office. Perhaps someone there might enjoy seeing a famous film director stamp or one of your Civil War selections. A small solace, but it’s something.

In the end, it doesn’t matter all that much. The option to pay bills by mail probably won’t be with us much longer.

Soon distinctive postage will be a subject for nostalgia.

“Stamps? Oh yeah, I remember them. I used to put clipper ships and national parks on my Nordstrom payments.”

Those were the days.

Today’s Slice question: What was the impetus for you trying to learn how to play a musical instrument?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. My favorite is the Bennington flag.


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