All right, it's been done before, but not for a while: Nickelodeon is partnering with the ever-embattled U.S. Postal Service to promote its long-running children's series SpongeBob SquarePants, in which a member of the order dictyoceratida opts for business casual dress to spend time with a slow-witted echinoderm and a squirrel of incredibly advanced brain function with a penchant for scuba diving.
The show's hero will appear in mailbox form on street corners around the country, and postage-paid SpongeBob postcards will be available gratis at about 25,000 post offices. If you want to see a MailPants yourself, you'll need to travel to Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Hollywood and Orlando, Fla.; Kirkwood, Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; or Washington. So really, you have no excuse.
Nick has a series of videos on the letter-writing process that ties into the campaign as well as printable stationery; the whole shebang is in effect through the month of SpongeBob-related Lego and stuffed-animal buying, formerly known as December. So, by the time the last MailPants disappears on Jan. 5, you may actually have convinced your kid to write that thank you note to Nana.