Rushville Republican

Columns

April 22, 2014

Mail Tales: Of postcards and wishing where you were

This week we’re going to explore the exciting world of Deltiology. I know that “Deltiology” sounds vaguely scientific, which means some of you are probably worrying that this is another one of my sneaky attempts to foist upon you a poorly researched, ill informed, and largely made up story from the world of science.

Well, put those worries to rest. Deltiology isn’t some little known therapy for PTSBS (Post-Traumatic Spring Break Syndrome, which my kids are suffering because they have to return to school tomorrow – yay!). Nor is it the obsessive parsing of every line of the most famous movie ever to feature Delts (“Animal House”). And lastly, “deltiology” has nothing to do with deltoid muscles, or the development of my massively sculpted upper body. Or lower body. Whichever is home to my deltoid muscles. Assuming I even HAVE deltoid muscles.

No friends, deltiology is the formal name for postcard collecting. And there are apparently a lot of deltiologists out there. Postcards are the third most collected item in the world, just behind stamps, and just slightly ahead of pictures of my massively sculpted body.

Expert deltiologists believe that one of the reasons postcards are so popular is that they can feature just about any image or scene or subject imaginable. For example, there are probably tens of thousands of postcards sporting high-definition photos of curvaceous beauties basking on some sunny shore. You almost never see anything like that on other popular collectibles, like coins, for instance. Unfortunately, that didn’t even change when Hawaii issued its “statehood” quarter.

Deltiology is, or should be, important to us this time of year because it’s almost National Postcard Week. The timing is really pretty ideal too. Millions of us who went on spring break over the past couple months bought postcards that we never bothered to complete and mail from our vacation destinations. Today we’re back home doing nothing, so now’s the time! (If anyone receiving one of these cards quibbles about the timing, we’ll blame it on the post office. If they then complain that the postmark shows we mailed it from home, we’ll distract them by flexing our deltoids.)

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