The Secretary and the Postmaster

Morin’s frenetic work pace did not distract him from preserving the office culture of well-planned pranks. He occasionally targeted another foil for his carbon trick: Colson himself. On one of these occasions, he  ensnared an unintentional victim.

In January of 1967, Maine Congressman Stan Tupper was newly retired from Congress, looking for a law firm to enter, and was encouraged by Colson to join them at Gadsby Hannah. Morin crafted a letter to Congressman Tupper in which Morin confided that Colson’s addiction to alcohol was a great cause for concern, and Morin felt that the Congressman’s steadying presence in the firm would do Colson good and help him to reach and maintain a state of sobriety.

The carbon went into the Washington file, where it found its way to the desk of Colson’s secretary, Hannah Campbell. Campbell was unaware of the gag, however, and instead of passing the carbon along to Colson, who would immediately get the joke, she rushed down to Capitol Hill to the House of Representatives mailroom, where she attempted to convince the Postmaster to retrieve the letter.

When the Postmaster called Morin to request his assistance in assuring Ms. Campbell that her demand was out of the question, Morin had to confess; and Ms. Campbell impressed the House Postmaster with her command of the idiom.