Hat's Off To The Postal Service.
A couple of weeks, back we bemoaned that column of ours wasn't focusing enough on the unconventionally-shaped packages aspect of this fun little social experiment. To rectify this, we mailed an unopened can of tomato paste. The fact that it only took the can three days — which is fewer than our running total average of 3.25 days — seemed to indicate that a can was, perhaps, not as crazy to send through the mail as we first thought.
The more we considered it, the only thing that really made the tomato paste unique was the contents inside. And so long those contents aren't chemicals or drugs, the USPS generally doesn't give a fuck.
Think about it: The can was a uniform shape, and the tin was probably a lot sturdier and more stable than most of the packages they handle on a daily basis.
So we thought we'd give it another go.
This week, we mailed a baseball cap, which is about as unconventional of a package shape as there is. Other than the bill, it's also rather floppy. The fact that the hat came back goes a long way to finally satisfying the unconventionally-packaged items test.
We'd also like to point out that we chose a Boston Red Sox cap to mail in order to a) score a few bonus points with our Boston-raised boss, and b) because we just couldn't risk not getting back our first-place Texas Rangers cap.
Item: Unpackaged fitted baseball cap.
Estimated Value: $20.
Cost of Postage: $2.25.
Method: We put some duct tape on the bill in order to give ourselves a nice writing surface. After applying the stamps, we put some packing tape over our handiwork to ensure the writing wouldn't smudge and to make sure the stamps stayed on.
Days to Deliver: 4 days.
Condition Upon Arrival: The cap was noticeably dirtier than when we sent it. It was not a brand new hat by any stretch, but it now has several big black stains on the white portion of the front panel.
Running “Can You Mail It?” Success Rate: 85.7 percent.