I received a certified letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield today straight out of the film Brazil. The contents: one piece of paper cancelling my policy, a 3/4" inch square styrofoam cube, and this note explaining the presence of the cube:


The styrofoam cube enclosed in this envelope is being included by the sender to meet a United States Postal Service regulation. This regulation requires the letter or package to be 3/4 of an inch thick at its thickest point. The cube has no other purpose and may be disposed of upon opening this correspondence.


Nice of them to include the note.

That is bizarre.

That's nuts. I haven't thought of "Brazil" in a couple of years, but now that you mention it this kind of insanity would fit right in there.

That can't be right, can it? I mean you and I don't have to include a styrofoam cube to make our mail 3/4" thick right? All the rest of my crappy junkmail doesn't have to be 3/4" thick, right?

That's hilarious... Bureaucracy at it's finest!

That is so cool. I loved "Brazil". A cube is just about the cheapest possible way to meet the requirement -- it will always be minimum of .75" and it wastes very little styrofoam; easy to chop, etc. I would think it would increase the chances of having the paper on the envelope puncture, though.

Damn that film looks cool.

Brazil is a classic that gets better with each passing year.

That's funny. I know why they did it too. It's a cost differential.

True "Certified Mail" costs $2.30 + postage. "Delivery Confirmation" costs 55c, or 13c electronically. However, DC can only be used for parcels, not envelopes, and the distinction is that 3/4" thickness they mention.

At age 12 Brazil went over my head but it was fun visually, and I'd never seen my father laugh so hard while the full theatre remained mostly silent. My mother could not get past the Katherine Helmond's umpteen facelifts ("yes but didn't she look fabulous by the end?") and finally got one for herself about five years later.

I was young, but could tell there was something to this movie, and planned to re-view it when I was mature enough to "get" it all.

Hope Netflix has it. It may make sense now.

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