I was just watching Judge Judy. Shut up. Don’t judge. Tell me there aren’t more than many times you don’t point at the TV and yell “Yes! Yes! Get a damned job, right after you get a clue! And a haircut! And a pass into the witness protection program so your family doesn’t have to admit you went on Judge Judy!”.
Ahem. Anyway. Some woman is suing some kid for stealing her CD collection. 120 CDs or something. Really? How tiny is your world that you would sue someone for stealing such worthless crap? Even I know that we are already at the point where movies and music and books just flies around the air, on fly around internet. My kids have taught me that. My Visa card is logged on every computer. The small card, with the tiny limit to make sure nobody steals our fly around credit card. The days of paying 60 bucks each for every James Bond movie (::cough:: seemed like a good birthday present at the time) are long gone. Who would sue for something so dumb? Is your self worth really so strangled up in a bunch of junk you collected?
I worry about people who do this. People who are dead set on getting every single Precious Moments figurine ever made. I knew a woman once who had kids before I did. She used to call me to yell “the Disney vault is opening! Bambi is coming out for a limited time only!”. Seriously. She used to say that. And run and get Little Mermaid and Peter Pan and whatever they told her was going back into the vault in two weeks. I hate to tell her, but I was right. There is no vault. You can go to any garage sale and pick up any of those for a quarter. If something makes money, it is never going away. You can Disney Vault and Franklin Mint me all you like. It’s just a fact. If you are about to buy a car or a fridge and the salesguy says “sign now, or lose it forever”, walk away. It’ll be there in the morning. It’ll be there a week later. Trust me.
I do not care for things I have to dust. I do not care for dusting. I don’t even care much for things, unless they are boots. I can’t imagine suing someone for making off with my CD collection. My kids can’t imagine anyone stealing it, but that’s a story for another time. I watch things like that Hoarders show (it lets me put off cleaning my house indefinitely) and try to understand when the overload of consumer goods got so crazy. I know it’s a mental condition; I just ask myself some questions. If Tourettes Syndrome makes people yell out curse words at inopportune times (as opposed to opportune ones), what did they yell out in the 1700s, when the first documented cases of the condition were recorded? “Foresooth, motherf***r?” I’m serious. When we had very few consumer goods, and no collectibles, what did hoarders hoard? I mean, my Dad hoarded twist ties and bits of string and rubber washers. But that was called “being a farmer”.
Things like eBay have taken all the fun out of collecting. When I was kneehigh to a grasshopper (I only say that because I can hear the cicadas chirping out back; I love that), if you collected something, the whole damned point was that it would take you a lifetime to accumulate every piece, to search and barter for every lost ark, every Honus Wagner, every Loch Ness monster. Now you can surf, whip out a credit card, then sigh and wonder what you should start collecting now.
I worked at Consumers Distributing in the late 70s – early 80s. At the time, all these kitchen accessories came out featuring chickens. Or hens. Some bird. Wait. Geese. It was geese. And what happened? People who had previously had, say, a small ceramic goose perched on a shelf in their kitchen were deluged with gifts from people who decided they were collecting geese. Now, we had goose towels; goose paper towel holders; goose oven mitts; goose dishes; goose trivets; goose plates; goose mugs; goose teapots; goose kitchen tools; goose plaques; goose aprons. You get it. And people who had that original goose? They’d come into the store, look at me with blanked out zombie eyes and beg me to make it stop. I would take their hands gently in mine, and tell them I’d seen the new catalogue, and to warn their friends who had an innocent cow or pig on their shelf. The only thing worse than getting caught up in a stupid collection of your own is having others get caught up in it for you. I learned my Goose Lesson up close.
Alright. I have to go feed the kids something. School starts tomorrow. And I really need to turn off the TV.