Our feature for this edition of Stamp Nook is a U.S. commemorative issue (Scott #1196) for the Seattle World's Fair of 1962, also known as the Century 21 Exposition. As you can see, the design is dominated by the Fair's symbol, the lofty Space Needle, but it also rather conspicuously showcases the then-new Alweg Monorail, whooshing forward into the bleed. A sanguine tableau of the 21st Century indeed!
This stamp was suggested to me by Mike and/or Paula (he/she/they didn't indicate who exactly was sending the letter from their address -- such is the shocking informality of electronic mail!), who included the following theory that I am sure Lyle will be quite keen on:
It can't be an accident that No. 1196 comes out and then magically 43 years later we have an imminent monorailular threat. I suggest that the gum was treated with an NWO standard-issue cross-generational mind control genetic modification agent. Civic-minded expectant mothers in the early sixties bought the stamps, licked the gum preparatory to affixation on an envelope, thereby causing a mutation of the retrotransportation genes of their in utero children. When these children grew up, they were tragically unable to resist the siren call of absolute dangerous and expensive transportation modalities. Check it out--I'm sure there are many people in their early forties that either voted for this boondoggle or are actually designing it. Coincidence? I think not!
Fortunately, I happened to have this stamp in my personal collection so I was able to examine it first hand. The gum looked as one would expect for adhesives of that era -- thickish with some slight oxidation. Olfactory inspection of the gum did not reveal any monorail-evoking fumes, however it is reasonable to hypothesize that the agent would have completely outgassed in the time since the stamp's gumming. I was not about to lick the stamp -- not only because, if the above theory were true, I might have come under the sway of the Monorail, but also because I find the practice to be quite barbaric. In fact, I have never licked a stamp. Stamps are to be saved, not slobbered on. I briefly considered seeing if transdermal absorption might have an effect (normally I always take great care to only handle stamps with philatelic tongs and, if I must touch them, acid-free philatelic gloves,) but I thought better of it, fearing both my potential monorailization and the certain biofilm contamination of the stamp.
In the end, my inspection proved inconclusive. I would forward the stamp to ZPi Labs for further analysis, but knowing them they would destroy it in the process, or at the very least get Sasquatch fur in the gum. I am not prepared to make that sacrifice.
Until next time, happy philateling!