Post office's tote boxes would be a top seller

Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master ...

-- Joseph Conrad

One of the problems of always using those Liberty Bell "Forever" stamps is that I no longer remember what a basic postage stamp costs. Its price is not depicted.

That's why I was on the Postal Service Web site trying to figure it out (44 cents) and was amazed at all the other stuff the post office will sell you.

It must really think there's a market for plaques or framed pictures that look like stamps. Or note cards. Or toys. Or key chains.

Meanwhile, the cost of postage keeps going up because, well, I guess they can't sell enough framed pictures that look like stamps. Or note cards. Or toys. Or key chains.

But you know what? If the Postal Service really wanted to get serious about selling things (other than stamps), it should market those wire-reinforced plastic mail tote boxes.

It's the best thing they've come up with this side of the Elvis stamp.

You can't buy anything half as good at the discount store, which offers smaller, flimsy plastic milk crates in a variety of festive colors.

Trust me. If the Postal Service starts putting the plastic boxes on its Web site, maybe it wouldn't be forever raising the price of forever stamps.

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YOUR MAIL: The "Valley Rats" send a post card from Cozumel, where they claim to be having a great time shopping and playing slot machines. Names on the card include Mary and Doug Cosnahan, Berley and Evelyn Birchmore, Bob and Janice Gay, Billy and Dottie Gay, Linda Birchmore and Chris and Brittany .

Paul and Patti Ashmore, Heather and Kristin stopped at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant in Sevierville, Tenn., and said the food was great. (That makes sense. Everyone I know from Sevierville is very nice.)

Jerry M. O'Connor sends a post card from Rhode Island -- always hard to get.

Margie Yeaton , of North Augusta, sends a card from Salem, Mass., where she said she learned about the famous witch trials.

From Highlands, N.C., we hear from "five grandmothers -- June, Reba, Frances, Iris and Shannon , who have been friends since grammar school. They say they are in "time out" in Highlands, where the weather is wonderful.

Finally, Bill Fowler , of North Augusta, sends a nice card and note from Hawaii, where he and wife, Mary Lee , are celebrating their 50th anniversary. The trip is a gift from their children. They say it is also the 50th state they've visited, catching most of the others on camping trips.

(Let me share my congratulations.)

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TODAY'S JOKE: Everett Fernandez shares these news laws.

The Law of Volunteering: If you dance with a grizzly bear, you had better let him lead.

The Law of Avoiding Oversell: When putting cheese in a mousetrap, always leave room for the mouse.

The Law of Reality: Never get into fights with ugly people; they have nothing to lose.

The Law of Self Sacrifice: When you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last.

Weiler's Law: Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.

Law of Probable Dispersal: Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

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