MIchael Philately IS... Lord Of The Stamps
When I was a kid, I collected stamps.
Baseball cards, too, although that didn't last much beyond the Tigers' World Series year of 1968. But I thought stamps were pretty cool. Still do, on a number of levels. World travel and education and language and art and all in little squares, decades before Icon Love. But one day I realized that all those stamps were sitting in a book I didn't look at much and didn't open much because many of them were delicate and a few of them were valuable and they were just sitting there.
And I sold 'em for a decent amount, by 1970s-ish teenager standards. Couldn't tell you what I did with the money; nothing important. But something that involved doing.
What inspired this little flashback was this story about someone selling one of the great Maguffins of our time, the 1918 "Inverted Jenny". As a kid, I dreamed of finding one. Obviously, that never happened. But, if it did now, I'd certainly find a collector to buy it.
But I don't know that I'd put it up for auction. I'd find someone who really cared about stamps. Not as investment, but as history. As art. As a tiny summation of civilization.
See, this led to my next collecting hobby.
Much of the same thing, really, except that I did -- and do -- still read 'em. But nowadays I buy compilations. Back in 1982-84, when I lived in Cincinnati, I worked at a comic shop. Lots of fun. Way cool. And I found out very quickly that, if you treated comics like investments, you were missing the entire point.
And George and Jeff and I exhorted our customers to buy for the sake of reading pleasure rather than pulp-and-ink futures.
I'm a lousy businessman, I guess, because that was one of the last periods that you really could buy and sell comics as if they were stocks. Not too long after that, the Internet started, and not too long after that, eBay started, and... well.
I don't have any valuable comics that I'm aware of. But damn have I got some great stories.
And, of course, I've got books. And DVDs. And some games. And, while I have to catch up on many of the books and DVDs and even a few of the games, by FSM I get stuff to do.
That said, there are a good number of tchotchkes around the place. The ones most prominent right now are a gigantic Darth Tater on the table near the window; a few stuffed animals, including a talking Kermit, on top of the DVD shelves; a bunch of fridge magnets; the Harry and Hermione bookends Anne got me a few birthdays ago, in front of my monitor (recalled by the manufacturer for having lead in them, so I'd better not lick 'em anytime soon); a Slave Leia Unleashed figure next to the monitor; a few other small things.
(Not Da Bear. He's family.)
What tchotchkes have you got within line-of-sight right now? And which ones are really important to you?