By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Collector's Edition

People collect all kinds of weird things. Baseball Cards, Dolls, Human Skulls... these are just some of the common collectibles that nerds, nerdettes & psychopaths all around the world are hoarding. There are countless websites dedicated to people's vast and ill-conceived collections. Some people even collect photos of other people's garbage, or pictures of people being pelted with bananas. Talk about ridiculous!


Anyway, here in the Luxurious Hollywood Hills, someone has amassed a collection of failed collections. These seem to be coming from a person in search of something to hoard. Early in this guy's life, he came home one day after school, ashamed that he was the only boy without a hobby. So after careful consideration, he chose stamp collecting:

A Philatelist generally spends years collecting stamps, often of the first day they come out. This guy started his collection in 1973, back when US Postage Stamps were only eight cents:

And while he clearly started off with gusto--gathering a huge collection of seven stamps--it's clear that he abandoned his project pretty quickly, possibly when stamps rose from 8 to 10 cents in March of 1974. Those two extra cents were too much for him to handle, so he decided to switch gears and, in the early 80's started collecting change...

...and rocks. I think initially he was trying to convince himself that by collecting the change, he could raise enough cash to revive his ailing stamp collection. And coin collecting on its own can be quite profitable if done right. But as you can see....
...he was mainly collecting Pesos, which are about as effective as his little rocks when trying to purchase stamps from the US Postal Service. (Although I've often wanted to throw stones at some of the clerks, so maybe he was on to something.)

The latest Peso is deted 1981, and I assume he remained hobby-less for nearly ten years abefore finally (albeit briefly) settling on a more manly hobby to evenutally ignore:

Cars! This Hobby, likely inspired by a combination of the Tim Allen era of 'butch comedy' and a mid-life crisis, lasted for about as long as you might think for a guy who amassed a collection of stamps and coins worth approximately $1.19 over the course of 27 years.

So what makes people want to collect things? Well, I might have done some light reading on the subject...

...and it turns out that some psychologists believe that it's mankind's effort to control some small portion of the world they live in, or an attempt to have a project that extends over the course of a lifetime. According to this article, Sigmund Freud suggested that collecting items "ties back to the time of toilet training." His theory was that potty training is so traumatic that the first flush creates a sense of loss, and you spend the rest of your life trying to regain what was taken from you.

Which would explain why this guy's collection is so... shitty.


1 comment:

Ludovica said...

Sigmund Freud was talking out his arse though. Does ANYONE take him seriously any more? So we all spend our lives trying to regain our first poo. Puhleese! You being a confirmed bachelor and all you may not have experienced the delight of baby's first poo (google Image search "meconium" but make sure its on an empty stomach)

I Also have a half hearted stamp collection. I think I was about 13 when my parents decided that Stamp Collecting was a nice respectable hobby, so they went and bought a collection. Ok it wasnt complete already, but fairly.
My parents had this down to a fine art.. bombarding us kids with enough of something that we had expressed an interest in to effectively overwhelm and hammer that interest into the dust. It became so we dared not express any interest in anything for fear of parents going OTT. Its that whole "Oh she bandaged her dolly! Lets put her name down for Med School" syndrome sigh. Consequently I have neve been much of a collector of any specific thing I just have lots of everything.. thousands of books for instance, hundreds of stones, many ethnic carvings.. oh I dont even know.. just a LOT of stuff. I suppose my largest collection is of jpgs of a certain singer, but I wont go into that, seeing as hes a mate of yours LOL. That would be kind of crass.