The Postal Service might be good at carrying the mail, but it's not so good at carrying a tune.
The main post office in Sacramento, trying to please fans hoping to get a "Return to sender" cancellation next to the new 29-cent Elvis stamp, had hand stamps made for a special day of cancellations.They turned out to be more unique than the Postal Service planned.
While Elvis sang, "Return to sender, address unknown," postal workers on Friday stamped, "Returned to sender, address unknown."
But it still has a better beat than the cancellation that usually appears on mail with incorrect addresses: "Undeliverable as addressed."
"We haven't used that (Return to sender) stamp in years," said Postal Service spokesman Gus Ruiz.
That didn't stop thousands of fans from mailing letters to bogus addresses in hopes of getting the famed lyric next to an Elvis stamp.
Joyce McClain addressed envelopes to her own home with an incorrect address.
On Friday, she got her "Returned to sender" stamp.
"It's such a hype. It's fun," she said.
Patti Rueb and her stepsons drove an hour from their home in Lodi to get 17 envelopes handstamped. They arrived around 6:30 a.m., two hours before the branch opened.
"I just love his songs," said 7-year-old Tony Rueb, whose favorite is "Blue Suede Shoes."
About 2,000 customers came through the branch in the first 11/2 hours. Usually, there are 50 to 60 customers an hour, said Al Shook, of the branch philatelic center.
Meanwhile, postal officials said they have received 5 million to 6 million requests for special first day cancellations. Sunday is the deadline for ordering the cancellations.
"We knew he was going to be good, but we didn't know he was going to be this good," said Sonja Edison, cancellation services manager for the Postal Service's philatelic fulfillment service center in Kansas City, Mo.