Monday, April 6, 2009

Help Stamp Out Duck Pornography

'Non-Pornographic' Pintail Duck

I chose the title of this post for two very specific reasons:

First, you're reading it, right?

And, second, it's oddly appropriate for the post which follows...

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Motto: "We Put the 'Wild' in Wildlife") released a $15 Duck Stamp featuring artwork by an artist named, Joe Hautman. The design is of a pair of Northern Pintail Ducks. They are, based on the small photo in the linked article below (and my extensive knowledge of the Northern Pintail Duck), very attractive ducks...

The duck artwork is excellent.  What isn't excellent, however, is something you'll find on the stamp itself.

Stealing the line from Paul Harvey:  "The rest of the story"...

'Duck Stamps' are sold to waterfowl hunters to fund wetland habitat acquisition for the national Wildlife Refuge System. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sells approximately $25,000,000 of stamps each year nationwide. The stamp offers a convenient (and FREE) '800 number' with which the waterfowl hunter can order additional stamps for family, friends, and any gift-giving purpose.

In 2008, the self-stick adhesive version of the stamp was wrong.

Very, very, wrong...

The phone number which should have appeared on the stamps was: '1-800-STAMP24'.  The number which was actually printed on the stamps? '1-800-TRAMP24'.

As you can imagine, a number like '1-800-TRAMP24' could lead the unsuspecting 'Duck Stamp' purchaser into what my Mom would call a 'bad place'.

For purposes of this post, let's just call it an Adult Phone Service known as 'Intimate Connections'. Yes, the unsuspecting Duck Stamp shopper will be greeted with a message NOT by some surly woodsman asking him, "How many Duck Stamps you want buddy, 5, 10, 15...?"

The greeting awaits the caller of the 'TRAMP24' number is a breathy woman promising that he (or she) can "Talk only to dirty, filthy girls who... (well, you get the idea)" for ONLY $2.99 per minute.

When the artist who designed the stamp was asked if he was aware of the situation with this unfortunate number mix-up, he said, "Oh no. It's just an accident..."  Moments later, he excused himself, and ran away laughing 'explosively' with milk shooting from his nose.  This was especially odd because he wasn't drinking milk at the time of the conversation...  Hmmm?

So what did the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department do to correct the situation?

In a word, nothing.

It would cost about $300,000 to reprint the 'bad' stamps and have new ones printed and put into circulation.

According to Mannfred Dimwitty of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, "The Fish and Wildlife Department bought a 40% stake in the Intimate Connections service earlier in 2008 and our revenues are projected to be WAY WAY up!. Hunters are calling over and over again for 'Stamps' and we're going to be able buy a LOT of 'wetland habitat' this year." No, I made this up. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department is NOT manned by business people.  They work for government - they don't have to be profitable.  

If I ran the place, I'd advertise these adhesive mis-labelled stamps as 'collectibles' and bump the price up to $75 per stamp. Each would come with a 'limited edition Porn' label and certificate of authenticity.  They'd sell LOTs of stamps to guys like me who think it's funny. But that's why these folks work for the government. They're not funny, and they're not, as referenced above, 'profit motivated'.  

In reality, they didn't replace the stamps because it was just too darn expensive (and they had no imagination). Unfortunately, no one on payroll could have taken the 12 seconds it would have taken a normal person to proofread the copy prior to sending the stamps out to be printed (thousands and thousands of times; every time... incorrectly).

So, I leave you with this thought, if you are looking for the perfect gift idea for your favorite 'woodsman' guy (or gal), consider the purchase of one of the now infamous 2008 'Duck Stamps'. You might also want to buy some stock in Verizon or AT&T because your phone bill is going to go WAY, WAY up. "But honey, I kept trying to order more stamps 'cause it was the perfect gift from you, and this really nice lady kept talking to me, and before I knew it, well, it was Friday..."

Thank you for doing business with your U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department / Intimate Connections Customer Service Agent! Please call again, soon! Look for our expanded collection of bear, deer, and ferret stamps for all of your gift-giving and erotica needs!

I can't make this stuff up -> Help Stamp Out Ducks
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