The Candid Guide to Collecting Random Crap

    Since the dawn of man we have been collecting things. When we were still living in caves we collected women, later as civilizations began to rise we collected slaves, and soon after the richer of us collected art and the artists who made them. Today it’s more or less the same except we’ve added a whole lot more possibilities, because as the world got richer, we made new things, and we bought those things and kept them around thinking they would make us happy, and when they didn’t make us happy we simply bought more of them, until we found out that tiny variations on the same one thing could essentially be called a new thing, thus creating millions of jobs and pouring billions into the economy just so we could make the same thing again. No I’m not just talking about stamps; we collect everything from action figures to dolphin shaped dildos.

    There is a general theory going around that the more free time you have on your hands the more likely you are to pick up collecting as a hobby. Different people do it for different reasons; some do it because they believe it will appreciate in value enough to buy back their waste of life and all the time they spent pursuing the collection anyways, others do it because they are simply obsessed and couldn’t think of anything better to do, still others are simply into it because their fragile mind fell into the trap and they are unable to stop it anymore. There are even cases of some people using it for therapy, to relieve the mind of their troubled past, and soothe the stress of everyday life. The more complicated ones arrive when the collection is some sort of metaphorical allusion to their uniqueness and ergo a correlating branch of their personality.

    There is no limit to what can be collected. You can still collect women and slaves if you wish depending on what country you’re in and how wealthy you are, but others prefer the more mundane and less illegal activities. Be aware however that certain collections may cause others to associate you whether you want to or not with a general stereotype. I realize that having a hand painted, 1:50 scale exact replica of the Battle of Hoth with accurate positions of the Rebel and Imperial forces is really impressive and all but it may not be the best idea to show it to the girls that come over once in a while. Unfortunately there are very few collections out there that won’t associate you with a stereotype. Collect wine and you’ll be a snob, collect cats and the only human contact you’ll get is from the SPCA, collect sports paraphernalia and it will be assumed you never grew up, collect business cards and you’ll be a networking whore. Of course not all stereotypes are bad, and some collections do grant you the illusion of a more educated and cultured demeanor; this generally applies to collections of art, books, and antiques, just make sure your friends are into the same thing and don’t mistake you for a pompous asshole.

    The most irrational of us will try to collect everything based on a certain theme. Let’s say… frogs. Porcelain and crystal frogs, a frog clock, frog pajamas, frog shaped salt and pepper shakers, frog magnets, frog stationary, frog shot glasses, frog door stopper, and a desktop background picture of a… kitten. Many companies like Coca-Cola and Harley-Davidson have realized the huge potential cash their own brand name can generate. It’s for this reason that that old Garfield plush toy you sold on eBay paid for little Jenny’s new laptop.

    Whatever your reasons to collect, whether to be unique or to make enough money off of it in the future to retire comfortably, and whatever materialistic passion you do decide to embrace, please remember to be safe. Think before letting the kids play with those World War II era grenades; and before showing off your “most prized possessions” to the guys, think about what your mother would say about that colossal stack of porn.

2 comments:

  1. avocadosarecoolMay 04, 2008 2:24 PM

    Excellent article! I see why this is called the CANDID guide :)

    . . . and sometimes the collecting itself becomes more important than what is collected.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the tips-- we're trying to collect enough materials to build a Crapshack in the woods. We're not seasoned collectors, and hadn't thought of building the shack out of porcelain frogs. There's promise in all this!
    -- Stacey

    ReplyDelete

Mini Candid #11

Mini-candids are small Candid Guides updated more frequently than the main guide. They can be video, photo, or just one or two sentences.

Mini-Candid #11: How to Ride a Segway