Friday, April 2, 2010

Post Office to Offer Appendix Removal on Saturdays

By Nicole O. Coulter, Associated Fibs

The United States Postal Service announced a new marketing initiative today timed to coincide with the passage of Obamacare last month. Beginning April 10th, the post office will provide appendectomies on Saturdays at their branches, in lieu of normal mail delivery.

At a joint news conference, the Postmaster and Surgeon Generals introduced the measure as a collaborative attempt to simultaneously provide quality healthcare to 30 million previously uninsured Americans while shaving some $350 billion off the Post Office’s annual budget shortfall.

The USPS also unveiled a new stamp celebrating the oft-maligned appendix, which, many Americans don’t realize is a three-inch-long, tube-like organ that frequently becomes inflamed and sometimes even bursts. The new stamp depicts its pre-ruptured, perfectly healthy state.

”We really had no choice,” said Postmaster General Jerry Newman. “We were hopelessly drowning in red ink. We had to upgrade our accounts receivable to sustain our high-quality delivery the other five days of the week. We felt that performing appendectomies as a value-added service would forestall layoffs among our elite corps of professionals.”

Business experts questioned the move but gave the Post Office thumbs up for creativity. “They really are trying to move up the value chain,” said Wall Street Kernal business editor Sally Post. “The fact is, despite horrific increases in stamp prices, fewer people are mailing letters. The postal service must expand beyond its core inefficient service and brand into other areas of potential failure.”

Surgeon General Meredith Grey said she signed off on the proposal only after assurances from President Obama that the extra service would be limited to removing appendixes, not other defective and useless body parts. “We feel the postal carriers already are in fragile mental conditions with the stress of potential branch closures,” Grey said. “At this juncture, it would be premature to allow them to operate more broadly.”

For his part, President Obama pointed to his concern about unnecessary tonsillectomies being performed by mail carriers, and signed an executive order stipulating that no such profit-making activity occur under his watch. “We have a long, proud tradition of losing money in the Federal government,” Obama said. “Everyone knows that removing tonsils is big business. I will not endorse anything that could be confused with free market capitalism.”

Mail carrier union head Gladys Horton said the union grudgingly accepted the surgery requirement as a concession to avoid Saturday branch closures, as well as to prevent the grim prospects of potentially fewer shifts of perpetually unhappy people. “We’ll deal with it,” Horton said. “We’re not happy about it, frankly. I mean, say someone comes in five minutes before closing time and wants their appendix out. Well, we’ve already cleared out our cash registers by then and locked the doors. So, this could get ugly. But certainly not as ugly as if we actually got laid off.”

Indeed, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano agreed that preventing layoffs among postal employees would be a life saver down the road – regardless of how many ruptured appendixes they removed. “If we can keep a disgruntled former postal worker from going postal, it will be well worth the cost,” she said.


  1. As a former postal person, I see wide possibilities here. If the Post Office devolves, as seems likely, back towards the early-day typical part-time corner-of-the-drygoods-store locales, new specialties can be added according to the type of business and the designated days of closing.

    For instance, pet grooming for those Post Offices which are co-located with pet stores. As for medical operations, starting small with appendectomies is a good idea. As further non-delivery days may need to be added, so can additional types of operations such as heart transplants, taking some pressure off of busy hospitals.

  2. LOL. Yes, well, we could certainly hope for an expansion of services. Your pet grooming suggestion makes me think about possibly haircuts for humans as well. There's no sense just standing in line to mail a package when you could also have your bangs trimmed while you wait. And, surgery and Priority Mail ... two things that seem a natural fit. :)