My Compulsion to Collect


I have a weird compulsion to collect things. Nothing outlandish like naval lint, body parts or other people’s souls, but things more under the pop culture umbrella. I’ve tried to collect things since I was a little kid. I remember having a bottle/can collection in our garage when I was 8 or 9. I was made to throw it away because my parents thought it was just “taking up space”. What the hell does that mean anyway? Doesn’t the car take up space? Or the hundred pounds of crap I push under my bed when I clean up my room? That takes up space, too. Hey, what do I know, I was just the innocent child permanently scarred by my uncaring parents (I see an episode of Oprah in my future). After that I collected Garbage Pail Kids for a few years. Those were AWESOME. I collected them in 5th and 6th grade. I think I still have them at my dad’s, but they may have been thrown out because…that’s right…taking up space.

In seventh grade I started my first big collection; comic books. From seventh grade through twelfth grade my friend Steve and I collected comics hardcore. We frequented this comic shop in Hoover called Curious George Comics and Arcana. It was run by this guy who I think is crazy, but I KNOW is a dirty hippie. I have no idea if his name was in fact, George, but Steve and I called him Curious George anyway. Years after his store closed I saw him at the mall. He was working as a telemarketer (surprise, surprise) and he was wearing a suit and tie carrying a briefcase….and he worked as a telemarketer. That’s what I’m talking about. I still called him Curious George when I talked to him. What a wacko (him, not me). But I digress (I do that a lot), I still have my comic collection in my garage. I thumb through it every once in a while. Looking through my hundreds of comics takes me back to a simpler time, a time before I was married, with a mortgage, and a job, no cat and no car. Damn, it certainly WAS a simpler time, I didn’t have anything.

Comic collecting faded for the most part when I went to college. Partly because I didn’t have the time nor the room to do it (nor the money). The only thing I could say I collected in college was books. I frequented a used book store and bought a ton of used books very cheaply to read. That’s the closest I came to a collection until my last year at Auburn; 1997. That is the year I started collecting Star Wars. That particular collection would consume me from 1997 until the end of 2004. I realize this may label me as a dork, but I’m sure I was labeled that before some of you knew this (haha). Many of you had seen my Star Wars Room back when I lived in Birmingham. It was a spectacular site, but it is no more. I stopped actively collecting Star Wars stuff when I moved to Jacksonville in Feb 2005.

So, what am I collecting now? Odds and ends. Kool aid packets and soda cans (stop laughing, that was serious). I enjoy finding oddball sodas you can’t find in a lot of places. I have old cans of Pepsi Free, Crystal Pepsi, Mountain Dew Pitch Black and New Coke. I have a can of Russian Pepsi Ice Cream and Taiwanese can of Pepsi Gold. Crazy ass things like that. It’s something to do. I’m weird, what can I say? I’m glad Steph married me when she did, I have her completely fooled (well, probably not). I’m also glad she puts up with it.

I’m a lucky man with a garage full of comic books and soda cans.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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One Response to “My Compulsion to Collect”

  1. There is nothing weird about soda can collecting. Having down about six million cans myself, I can attest to the odd desire to fixate on can and logo design. I wonder what color that Crystal Pepsi is now? I’ve heard it shifts to a more normal cola color over time…

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