"The check is in the mail"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 11 08:44:06 UTC 2000

_The check is in the mail._  The saying is used to avoid responsibility,
especially for financial debts.  Of recent origin.****
(Four stars reflects highest use.  Citations from 1984--ed.)

    I cracked open lots of books and couldn't find this phrase.
    It's Friday--happy payday, and for God's sake, use direct deposit!
    From ESQUIRE, April 1954, pg. 36, col. 1:

_The check is NOT in the mail_
_by Donald Hough_
    One day I phoned a friend of mine, Thomas O'Reilly, an old newspaperman
himself; and in answering the phone Tom said, without any preliminary
salutation, "The check is in the mail."  I was willing to settle for that,
but it turned out to be only Tom's new way of saying hello.  O'Reilly is a
columnist for _The Morning Telegraph_, a New York daily largely devoted to
the improvement of the breed, and he was simply playing the percentages
against a problem as old as the telephone itself.
    (...)  "The check is in the mail," I said.  There was a slight pause, and
then a voice strange to me said, "Yeah?  I've heard that one before, Al.  How
many times you going to pull that one?  Now listen, unless--"

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