proscribed postcard


Here’s a mystery from the not-so-distant past, courtesy of Nigel from Dublin:

Many years ago (c1990), as a young man, I was in Majorca with some male friends and I was sending postcards home to everyone I knew.

For one particularly debauched friend, I chose a card with a photo on the front of a nude woman diving into a pool (taken from the rear, so it was pretty rude). When I next saw him, I asked if he’d appreciated the card, to which he replied with a puzzled, “Erm… yeah, thanks!”

Surprised by his lack of enthusiasm for the subject, I enquired further and was amazed when he claimed that the card was just a normal one. He then produced the card, and sure enough, he was right. On close inspection, it was clear that another picture – one of those stock montages with several shots of the local scenery on it – had been glued over the original card!

So, answer me this: who the hell was employed to censor postcards from Spain in this way? Does it still happen? Does it happen from any other countries?

Readers, you have such diverse pasts and chequered careers. Have any of you ever been in the postcard-censoring business? Tell us all about it in the comments! I look forward to your stories of when you had a bad day so you stamped ‘REDACTED’ in thick black ink over an innocent ‘Happy 5th Birthday!’ message.

Also, can we be sure that it was the Spanish who were doing the censoring? It seems to me that if either side was displeased by nude women diving into pools, it is more likely to be the Irish. I suppose the clue would be whether the superimposed picture was of sunny Spain, or rain-lashed sheep.


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