Folks collect stamps, pop bottle lids, coins, dolls, cards and about anything else that takes their fancy or what might be valuable someday. It all takes a good deal of patience to be a real-honest-to-goodness-cross-my-heart collector. One has to plow through millions of coins or go to all kinds of doll shows or flea markets.
There have been times in my life when I thought about collecting something but since I'm not known for patience above and beyond the call of absolute duty, collecting did not last long at my house. What does one do with pop bottle caps? Put them in a shoe box and set them on the closet shelf, right? Then the day comes when they fall and scatter over the whole floor and that one falls into a high heeled shoe...end of toe nail a week later, end of bottle cap collecting, end of story.
So it was on to coins. Even if one fell into my shoe, it wouldn't take off a toe nail But the day before pay day a couple of months later we were out of milk and bread...there went the coin collection.
And stamps? The ones coming out that week would be worth millions in fifty years, so it went into a special little plastic sleeve to draw interest for the next half a century. Then the electric bill had to be paid and once the check was written there was only twenty one cents left in the checking account...not enough to buy a stamp so the millions for tomorrow became today's air conditioning savior.
And now I hear that there's a new collection sweeping the earth. In order to be a charter member of the new club, a person must vow to have a tremendous sense of humor and never--ever--not in the most dire circumstance, break down and use the collection for a common need.
It has been labeled the new collection for only the noveau riche--it is the collection of toilet paper!
When I stopped giggling, I started to wonder about all the rules they will have to corporate into that charter for their new fancy-smancy collector's charter.
Is it necessary to have one square or must one have two squares so the perforation holes can be counted for authenticity? Does that stuff in the Walmart bathroom fall into the category of collectible since it has no perforation at all?
What about the wrapper? For true collectors and not just amateurs, the whole roll might need to be saved, complete with the wrapper (somewhat like saving a book with the jacket cover intact). It should show the brand name, the date of "best if used by" and the code stating the price of the item if it expects to ever make it to the Sotheby's Auction.
Do they consider the foreign stuff worth more because it came from so far away or less because it is brown and rough instead of soft and soaked in some kind of lotion?
Are we allowed to look through the attic and put the old Sears and Roebuck catalog into the collection? That would be a vintage specimen that most people would keep in the bank safe deposit box for sure. It might even be worthy of a glassed case at the Smithsonian.
Oh, my! What would a never-used corn cob be worth? Hopefully, you did save a few when you tore down Great-Grandpa Oscar's old barn. If you did, you should call an antique auctioneer and only invite the most serious of the collectors to your sale. Serve shots of corn liquor and tiny little bites of buttered corn bread at your private sale so that the folks who didn't win the bid can go home and talk about what a fantastic day it was.
How does one display their new collection? I haven't seen a book which olds one or two or six squares or a special cabinet that holds whole rolls. There's a job for an entrepreneur--build a cabinet from oak that holds rolls of toilet paper so the collector can throw open the doors, stand to one side and proudly show off his/her gorgeous rolls of toilet paper. That corn cob on the top row with the brass plate explaining all about it really should be under lock and key, though.
Insurance! Homeowners policies must be rewritten to accommodate fading wrappers and leaks that could soak the paper. Would it require special flood insurance if my granddaughter tossed a roll into the potty, not realizing that roll was a prized German specimen with every square intact?
Maybe the charter making folks should take all these things into consideration.
Me? If I decided to join the noveau riche and collect toilet paper, you can bet your sweet butt that one of the grandchildren would yell that the TP roller was empty and they needed paper...and there would go my first roll of collector's toilet paper!