By John M. Hotchner
A surprising number of readers responded to the May cartoon caption contest for the 25¢ Stagecoach stamp from 1989 shown in Figure 4.
Many entries likened the driver's view of the south end of the horse to their view of the presidential contest currently in progress. Good taste prevents me from presenting any of those entries.
The next most popular theme also centered on the horse, or rather the partial horse in the scene. Larry Jones of Bay City, Mich., saw it this way: "How can I move the mail with only half a horse?"
Given the rising costs to the Postal Service for transporting and delivering the mail, it was probably inevitable that contest entrants would make the connection between the good old days and today.
The situation on the stamp makes horsepower look pretty good, and James Yost from Middletown, Ohio, brings that home with, "I knew when gas got to be $4 a gallon, I'd get my old job back."
The winning nonphilatelic line, from Tim Liljeberg of Brooklyn Park, Minn., is shown in Figure 4. It plays off the often-heard parental advice about the value of education.
On the philatelic side, J.M. Kelly from Tucson, Ariz., has the messenger thinking in today's terms, with, "I think I'll file for Postal Traumatic Stress Syndrome."
Both winners will receive Linn's U.S. Stamp Facts 19th Century published by Amos Press, or a 13-week subscription to Linn's (a new subscription or an extension). The book has a retail value of $14.95. Here are a few of the runners-up:
"If that kid in the back seat asks one more time 'Are we there yet?' we're gonna leave him at the next rest stop!" from Ken Grothoff of O'Fallon, Mo.
"One million bottles of beer on the wall, one million bottles of beer . . ." by Michael Moticha from Apple Valley, Calif.
"Dang right we're lost, Earl! You left the GPS [global positioning system] on your horse!" sent by Raymond Smith of Springfield, Mo.
"Dag-nabit, I'd swap my whole stamp collection for a seat cushion right about now!" from Jeff Smith of Vinalhaven, Maine.
"When I signed up for acting classes, this was not the type of 'stage coach' I was expecting!" by Steve Kotler from San Francisco, Calif.