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SELF-STICK STAMPS A DIETER'S DELIGHT

Americans are gobbling up those new self-stick stamps, but the post office was surprised to hear that it could be a diet craze.

Selling the new stamps to a customer, a Michigan postal clerk joked that any weight she had gained in recent years was probably from licking stamps.Sure enough, the next customer in line asked for a book of "diet stamps," the clerk wrote to postal headquarters.

Sales of the self-adhesives, just 2.8 billion in 1994, jumped to 8.8 billion last year. The post office plans to print 30 billion self-sticking stamps this year.