As a kid, I was obsessed with licking envelopes closed. An otherwise menial task—stuffing and addressing envelopes—was rendered suddenly magical by saliva’s near-supernatural ability to keep an envelope shut. And so, I would sit there with my mom as she filled those paper pockets with checks or notices, forms to be delivered, and I would get to lick the sticky perimeter of the flap! The taste and tacky texture were enough to keep me engaged and off the streets.
A recent development in our midst has brought me back to my old post as Mother’s stamp licker: The United States Postal Service has announced the imminent arrival of a line of scratch and sniff stamps. Imagine my childhood delight if the “sticker” on the back of each envelope had smelled like a popsicle or a watermelon or some other summery treat.