I've long maintained that the biggest problem with the USPS is its status as a government-sanctioned monopoly. As long as no one's allowed to compete with the Postal Service, there's no impetus for improvement in fees or services. Even so, innovations like email and Skype and so forth are making the USPS monopoly on first-class mail irrelevant. And yet there's always going to be something lovely about receiving a letter in the mail -- something more than a bill or an advertisement, something that required some thought (or at least a generous amount of whimsy) to write.
So here's my random thought for the day... let's create an alternative international mail courier service called, say, Mothmail. It's the method Captain Midnight and I already use whenever we visit Utah: since we're going there anyway, we tend to carry a few items along with us as a favor to friends. Any packages we take with us on either leg of the journey we deliver right to the individual's front door. Since there are few limitations on what could be sent this way (other than the obvious ones, like high perishability and space restrictions in the back of a courier's car), you could send anything from basic letters to packages to rather convoluted and gorgeous mail art.
I imagine this idea working a lot like a rideshare program, with volunteer couriers who are already driving to a particular destination offering to take Mothmail items along for the ride. I can even imagine Mothmail couriers making and selling their own limited-edition postage to help defray driving costs. Hey, why not?
|Luna moth photo courtesy Dorothy Birch/Wikimedia Commons|
Oh yeah, and bonus points to the couriers who come up with some inventive cancellation method. Any Joe Postoffice can use a time-stamp. Let's see you create something with style. Impress us (pun fully intended)!