Annoying Mail

Andy Rooney Doesn't Like It

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:



I'm lucky so many things annoy me because if they didn't, I'd hardly have anything at all to talk about here Sunday nights.

I've been looking through some old mail. That always annoys me.

The wording on envelopes, for example, often seems too long and repetitious. This is from TIME magazine. "Time Inc." it says "Time, Time & Life Building." At the bottom it says "An AOL Time Warner Company." Over here, it says "Time Magazine." OK, OK. So it's from TIME.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE
915 LAFAYETTE BOULEVARD
BRIDGEPOPRT, CONN.

No wonder our courts are all backed up.

I've never known what those four extra numbers are after a zip code. This is addressed to me - 10019-2985, my zip code. The area the post office says I'm in.

Now there are nine numbers in my zip code. There are 280,000,000 people in the United States. That figure has nine numbers in it. That means every single American could have his or her very own zip code.

Something's wrong here, and it's obvious zip codes should be a lot shorter.

Postcards are never quite big enough. All the postcards I get are from people who had about two sentences more to say than they could fit on the postcard. Postcards obviously need to be just a little bigger.

This is an old letter from a man in Antioch, Ill. He lives at 41242 North Westlake. Presumably there's a just plain Westlake Avenue or a South Westlake Street. The almanac says 8,000 people live in Antioch. So, how come they have a street with 41,242 numbers on it? Must be a lot of empty lots in Antioch.

The biggest problem though is the abbreviations assigned the States. Who decided which States would get which letters?

For instance, who decided Michigan would be MI. What about Mississippi, Minnesota or Missouri? And why did they give MA to Massachusetts instead of to Maine?

The best ones - abbreviations you can't miss- are ones like FL for Florida, KY for Kentucky and TX for Texas.

Some don't make any sense at all though. For instance, if Oklahoma is OK, which seems OK, and Ohio is OH, why isn't Iowa IO instead of IA? And if Idaho is ID, which it is, logically Pennsylvania ought to be PE, not PA.

So if you really want to annoy me, keep those cards and letters coming.



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  • David Kohn

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