Urban Legends

The Dangers of Licking Envelopes

The Legend

Submitted March 2005

Dear God and by all that is holy, whatever you do, don't lick envelopes! I used to work for Giles & Rothenstein Enclosure Containment and Postal Facilitation Products (an envelope company), and the supervisor in the Chicago plant told us not to lick envelopes because they would often find dead rats at the bottom of the glue barrel. Grody! And one time a worker in one of the plants died and because he was an illegal immigrant and his family didn't have money for a funeral, they put the body in one of the barrels until arrangements could be made, but everyone forgot about it and people started using the glue from the dead body barrel on envelopes! This went on for weeks!

In the factory I work in they told me that when the machine jams up, they use whatever water is handy to thin out the glue. This includes water that they just mopped the floor with or human urine (because it's "naturally sterile," if you believe that baloney). They once even used human blood mixed with deadly nightshade and a hand of glory, which caused the machine to come to life and kill a guy and made all the envelopes cursed! Since then, I've avoided licking envelopes.

A woman who worked in a Calfornia post office in California licked envelopes and postage stamps (even self-adhesive ones) instead of using a sponge because she liked the taste. One day she cut her tongue on an envelope. A week later, she noticed an abnormal swelling of her tongue, and it started to shake like crazy. She called 911, and after describing the condition they told her to run out of the house and get away from other people. A few minutes later, police cars showed up and had a special team with them dressed in full-body suits like astronauts. They had flamethrowers and asked her to stick her tongue out. When she did, they jumped back and raised the flamethrowers, but not before her tongue exploded and sprayed the area with baby poisonous tarantulas! There were tarantula eggs in the envelope glue! This true story was reported on CNN, and so was the one about gangs making extra sharp envelope edges and coating the glue with AIDS virus.

Andy Hume wrote, in An Inquiry Concerning Health and Understanding (1748): "Hey, I used to work in an envelope factory. I haven't licked an envelope for years!"

Someone else important and trustworthy said they used to work for a print shop and was told never to lick the envelopes. "I used to think that it was because if we licked all the envelopes, they would stick together and we wouldn't be able to get them apart later when we needed them. But that wasn't the case! I learned the real truth when I had to go into storage and pull out a pile of pre-printed envelops for a customer and saw several battalions of roaches marching around inside a couple of envelope boxes with roach eggs everywhere. Roaches eat the glue on the envelopes and secrete Roach Jelly, much like bees make honey, but Roach Jelly looks, tastes, and behaves exactly like envelope glue so you can't tell the difference, except that after you lick it you're pregnant with roach eggs. After that, I started buying self-sealing type envelopes, until I found out that they can explode (more on that later). Now I just use e-mail or, if I have my radiation helmet on, text messaging."

Please pass this on, to any of your friends that you don't want to suffer horrible disgusting pain and death. Have a nice day!

Behind the Legend

Although this legend goes on at some length, it is merely an expansion of a specific instance of item #5 in Fleishman's "Ten Steps to Constant Health":

  1. Wear protective gloves and eyewear at all times.
  2. Don't enter a shower barefoot.
  3. Don't touch anything in a public restroom, even yourself.
  4. Treat circulated currency as if it is coated with the plague.
  5. Don't lick anything.
  6. Wash your hands before everything.
  7. Launder your sheets and towels after each use.
  8. Don't shake hands, kiss, or enter a room in which someone has sneezed.
  9. Flush your colon with double frequency.
  10. Think only pure, vetted thoughts.

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