GOING POSTAL….Suppose you have an ordinary piece of paper to mail. You don’t want to fold it, so you put it in an ordinary 9″x12″ envelope. It weighs less than an ounce.

Question: How much postage does it require?

To enter this contest, put two things in comments: (a) your guess, and (b) how long it took you to figure out the answer. This is an open book test and you may use any reference materials you like.

When we’re done, I’ll tell you what I think the answer is and what the post office thinks the answer is. Sadly, they don’t seem to match.

UPDATE: The answer is 80 cents. Initially I thought it was 41 cents, not knowing that an ordinary 9×12 envelope now counts as something special. Then, after digging through the USPS website for a while, I thought the answer was 58 cents. But no. Turns out that a 9×12 envelope is not a “retail letter or card” plus a fee for being nonmachinable, it’s a “retail flat,” which has its own fee table. So that’s 80 cents for the first ounce. Plus the 41 cents I wasted on the initial try, for a total of $1.21 plus three days of delay. “Shaping a More Efficient Future in Mail” my ass.