For the pack rat in all of us, for the accumulators, for all those of you who are 'into' stamps or coins or Pez dispensers...this one's for you.
The Collection Collection
Is there a pastime any more natural to homo sapiens than collecting stuff? From the time we're able as infants to grab plastic rattlers away from the toddler next door we humans seem to thrive on gathering. We amass unto ourselves most marvelous assortments of things that are certainly not necessary but give us great pleasure. Like stamps and coins and Barbie dolls and salt/pepper shakers. Interesting things. Things that delight us with their variety of shapes and sizes.
When we were little girls my sister Kathy and I collected tiny porcelain shoes. I think about those little porcelain shoes every now and then (well, not that often actually . . . but for the purpose of this article I thought about them), and I wonder what happened to those sweet little slippers. They're probably sitting on a shelf in a neat place like Joyce's Junktique, waiting for me to chance by and reclaim them with a big whoop! Yep, I suppose I threw them out when I needed more shelf space for my James Dean pictures. What a shame. James Dean didn't last, but I'd still have those china shoes if I hadn't been so hasty.
Anyway, I started thinking about collectibles this morning when I read an article in a magazine about a guy who collects sickbags--mostly airline sickbags. Just struck me as a bit weird, but who am I to judge? I mean, those bags are certainly more utilitarian than teensy porcelain shoes. And this guy swears his hobby is not that unusual. He says there are a number of folks who collect airline sickbags. He's quite proud to be a member of their small group (United Gatherers of Heaving Sacks--a.k.a. UGHS) with his 750 plus bags in about 380 different types.
Types? Well, yeah. He says he's got some made out of blotting paper (AEROFLOT), and some are transparent (OASIS).
Some have games on the back (BRI-ATHENS and MAERSK), and some double as envelopes for film developing companies (ANSETT).
Some have business and economy class variants (SWISSAIR), and a couple bear this distressing message: “When used, this bag may contain biohazardous waste” (AIRWORLD). He says some have helpful hints about what to do before and after being sick (NORTHWEST)--but what really blew my mind were several he claims have actually been (yuck!) used. (AIR FRANCE).
I never was big on hand-me-downs.
Interested? Oh, you already collect these things? Well, he's got a bunch of extras in case anybody reading this wants to swap. I'll be glad to give you the UGHS telephone number so you can make contact. Here's a list of what he's got in his trade files:
(') ALITALIA: 3 brown bags, one with old gum
(2) CANADA 3000: ' baby blue, has folding instructions at top
(3) DELTA: ' plain white, imprinted with words 3SIC SAC2
(4) EGYPTIAN: ' blue with tail (Huh?)
(5) IBERIA: 2 large yellow, ' moldy (Dinner flight, probably.)
(6) RIO SUL: 3 transparent with drawstrings (How handy.)
(7) SABENA: 2 blue, ' white and frilly (You GO, Sabena!)
(8) SAS: 2 speckled
(9) UNITED: ' with metal top, 3 without top (Careful, puh-leeze.)
There are more, but my space is limited, thank goodness. Listen, keep an eye out for my porcelain slippers, hear? And watch where you deposit your film.
Just a suggestion.