Can You Mail It?
C'mon. It's Just a Condom.
By Cory on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM
When we decided a few weeks ago to start a column that tested the limits of what items the US Postal Service considered "mailable," we did so at a pretty admittedly inopportune time.
Right around the time we started this little experiment earlier this month, the FBI had just linked the person responsible for mailing hundreds of packages containing a suspicious white powder over the last four years to North Texas. Though the white substance in question has proven to be non-hazardous after the fact, it is still not an activity that the government takes lightly.
Still, if a package of hot dogs with a few stamps on it can make it from the post office to our plates relatively unscathed, then we feel like there's still at least a little hope for this little game nonetheless.
So, this time around, we decided to examine the limits of the USPS' definition of "biological hazard" by attempting to mail an unwrapped condom. No, we did not "use" it first.
Our question was whether our postal carrier would trust her vision to tell her there was no actual "biological" material in the package or if she'd just trash it.
Seems as if she trashed it. Oh well.
Item: One unwrapped condom.
Estimated Value: Less than a dollar
Cost of Postage: $0.90
Method: We put the condom into a store-brand clear plastic baggie. The address was written directly on the baggie in a Sharpie.
Days to Deliver: Undelivered after 19 days.
Hypothesis on What Went Wrong: Because the condom was opened, it most likely fell under the USPS' definition of a "biologically hazardous" material. With as many STD-ridden skeezebags as there are, it's tough to say we blame them. Or maybe it's that plastic baggies aren't an acceptable envelope? Not sure. This is definitely one worth revisiting at some point in the future.
Running "Can You Mail It?" Success Rate: 50 percent.