Thursday 9 August 2012

A Lovely Little Bag

I like to collect things that interest me. I suppose that I am no different than millions of other collectors around the world. I like to look at other collections too. Collecting is a fun way to get involved in the world.
I guess that the earliest kind of collecting I did was toys. I liked those crappy green army guys that were frozen in one position. One guy was firing a rifle, one tossing a grenade, one dipshit was holding his rifle over his head, there was a guy firing a bazooka, and one shooting his rifle into the air. I guess that guy was duck hunting. I always pictured the soldier holding the grenade as sweating and wondering where he dropped the pin. I didn’t collect them because they had a cash value or that they were well made at all. No, the reason I had them was so that I could blow them up when I had firecrackers. I didn’t always have firecrackers, but in a pinch a magnifying glass would be an effective way to disfigure the plastic “ally”.

I still have some of them; my dad saved them in a box under his workbench. Most of them are burnt and no good to anyone really. My dad also brought out a collection that I didn’t know I had when he came to visit once. Hockey cards from the early to mid fifties! My brother and I used to play “closies” with them at recess and lunch time. We amassed quite a large collection, mainly hockey, but some baseball and football as well as odd cartoon cards and some that depicted war planes. I suppose they have a value now, but that isn’t as important looking at them and reliving my childhood.

I have a collection of those Red Rose porcelain figurines. I don’t think it is complete but there are a lot of them. You see when I was a young man I had a job at Brooke Bond Foods; I mention it in my blog “Good Times...Good Times”. Brooke Bond was and is the company that makes Red Rose Tea among other things. I was a warehouse worker and I did various jobs from unloading and loading trucks, sweeping the floor and order picking. One of my jobs was to slice open the boxes of tea, put my hand in the opening and withdraw the porcelain figurine. I don’t think that was actually in the job description. I always wondered what that lovely little grandma would say when she opened her box of tea and there was no figurine. Perhaps that is why I feel the evil eye every now and then.
I worked at McClelland and Stewart and started a collection of books, using much the same method of collecting the books as I did with the figurines. The trouble was that M & S was a Canadian publisher and I have never been a huge fan of Canadian writers or books. Don’t get all pissy, it is just a personal preference.

None of my collections are complete and I suppose that is the way I like it. There is no challenge once you have it all. I would also have to bust my ass trying to find the last pieces of the collection.

I guess my favourite collection is back packing stoves. I started the collection just trying to find a decent stove to take back packing. I would haunt the 2nd hand stores and garage sales where sometimes I would find some odd stoves. Very few of them worked, but trying to get them to work helped me to learn quite a bit about how they are made and what makes them work. I have probably fifteen or sixteen back packing stoves, but not all of them work and some of them I wouldn’t dare try to light. I like my eyebrows too much. I have always collected stoves that used liquid fuel, some can pretty much burn anything, from jet fuel to perfume. I like those ones the best. The alcohol stoves from Europe take forever to boil water and it isn’t as easy as you might think to get alcohol. Okay, it is pretty easy to get alcohol but I just don’t like the stoves. They are the best made stoves however.

The stoves that I really hate are the propane canister stoves. They are made to use pressurized containers that once empty are just thrown away. How is that being a steward of nature? I feel that anyone using these stoves might just as well punch a hole in an oil pipeline and clear cut a forest. While they are at it, why not club a baby seal? Now, having stated my feelings, I added a Primus canister stove to my collection the other day. It was so cute and well built; I fell in love with it right away. The price was rock bottom as well. 
Did I mention that it came in a lovely, little bag?

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