I had to run an errand this afternoon, and as I pulled out of the parking lot, a news story came on NPR talking about a US Post Office announcement about mobile zip codes. Modeled on the rulings that allowed people to take their phone numbers with them, the Assistant Postmaster General was quoted from his daily news briefing (and I did think to myself “The postmaster gives a daily news briefing? Huh!”) as saying:
“Every year millions of Americans are on the go: People who must relocate for work or other reasons. Those people may have been quite attached to their original homes or an adopted town or city of residence. For them this innovative measure will serve as an umbilical cord to the place they love best.“
“So it is with great pride and pleasure I tell you that starting next month, the national Portable Zip Codes program will commence. With it, American citizens can keep their present zip codes wherever they chose to live, across the country or across town.”
Beyond my amazement at this bizarre turn of events, my mind reeled with the implications for personalized presentation of local information across the web. I almost turned the truck around to go back to my office and shoot off an email to people who absolutely needed to know about this important turn of events, as well as mobilize a congressional lobbying effort to shut the initiative down. Luckily for me, though, I had a friend waiting for me to pick him up, and didn’t have time to run back in to work. Of course it was the first thing I said to him… “You’ll never believe what I heard on NPR,” launching into the bizarre turn of events, to which his response was “April Fools!” Boy did I feel stupid. And very very thankful that Curtis was waiting for me.