Lick Me
January 14, 2012 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Via he who may not be named
posted by unSane at 4:22 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I send my sweetheart letters with upside-down, crooked stamps to let her know I've been drinking.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:29 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Uh-oh. I think I know why the Verizon guy is giving me the googly eyes now.
posted by not_on_display at 4:32 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

I can't figure out a consistent way to say 'screw off'. The first guide indicates that rotating the stamp 90 degrees to the right is 'do not write to me anymore', but the second says it should be rotated 180 degrees instead. The third doesn't include any negative ones. And I'm not familiar with the foreign languages used in the others.
posted by Hither at 5:15 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Damn ... all these stamp-collecting books I read when a child never mention that. Thoughts of all these secret messages I destroy, along with them disappear the customs as I soak them off these many envelopes now regret me.
posted by Twang at 5:20 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

this FPP has an excellent title.
posted by Pants! at 5:45 PM on January 14, 2012

So is the "friend zone" named after a part of the envelope?
posted by idiopath at 6:03 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Steganographically speaking, there is a lot of information you could encode using position, rotation and value of the stamp, especially if you were sending a lot of letters, and especially if the intended recipient of the information was the mailman, not the addressee.

*begins screenplay*
posted by unSane at 6:19 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

If the letter postage is $0.44, and you have four positions (2 bits) then you could send an 88 bit string using 1 cent stamps on a letter. Easily an 11 letter message, more if you don't need caps or punctuation.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:48 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

All my bills I send out with the stamps upside down, but they always write me back.
posted by safetyfork at 7:27 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Huh. Used to be pretty big into philately and never heard of this. Thanks!
posted by telstar at 12:08 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's not included on these lists, but covering an entire envelope in stamps with only a tiny area left for an address means "Would you like to leave your evil relatives' house to watch a sport that makes very little sense and then stay with us for the rest of the summer? We will be appearing at your evil relatives' house shortly in order to upset them in ways that you will find entertaining in the moment and then pay for dearly next summer."
posted by NoraReed at 12:11 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

The language of stamps was mentioned in last week's Antiques Roadshow (UK).

Not that watching Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday night is the highlight of my week, or anything like that...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:53 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never heard of this before either. It's different like the hanky code, or the flower language. In India they used to have what are called 'object letters' a seemingly random group of objects sent to someone could mean many things, and convey information sort of privately.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:44 AM on January 15, 2012

In Wales (and other parts of the UK?), there's a tradition of republicans/nationalists sticking upside-down stamps on their letters, as a tiny protest against the monarchy. There have been several references to "llyfu tin y cwîn" (licking the queen's arse) in protest songs since the late 60s.
posted by ceiriog at 3:40 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

That's a very interesting blog in general.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:24 AM on January 15, 2012

Not aware of any similar tradition among Irish people or Scots, but upside down flag stamps were a thing in the anti-war movement in the US
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:51 AM on January 15, 2012

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