10 Utterly Bizarre Collections That Will Make Your Stamp Collection Seem Quaint
If you think your Scooby Doo action figure collection is exciting, just check out what oddities these collectors have been gathering.
You got a Paul Schmelzer?!
Paul Schmelzer collects autographs. Big deal, a lot of people collect autographs. (By the way, did you know that the royal family isn’t allowed to give out autographs?) What sets his collection apart is that according to his website, he asks celebrities to sign his name, not theirs. That’s right, he goes up to the rich and famous and says, “May I have my autograph?” Seventy celebrities have signed “Paul Schmelzer,” including Yoko Ono, Michelle Bachmann, writer Isabelle Allende, musician Laurie Anderson, film directors Peter Bogdanovich and Wim Wenders, and even the voice of Homer Simpson, actor Dan Castellaneta. Robert Redford and James Brown were confused and signed their own names.
Don’t look on an empty stomach
Andy Huot is a mechanical engineer with an odd fascination for Cheetos. The Louisville, Kentucky, man sees humanoid and other shapes in the tasty treats. So he collects and photographs them, often creating mini scenes. Typically, he works an extra 30 minutes Monday through Thursday to allow himself a half-day every Friday to sift through bags and bags of Cheetos. “First of all, I have to be eating them,” Huot clarifies. “I can’t just open a bag and look for good ones. It just doesn’t work.” He’ll pop open a bag, and remove each cheesy nugget, slowly examining it “from all angles;” if he finds it to be visually unstimulating, he eats it. (Here are the kind of Cheetos you should be buying if you’re looking for a healthier alternative.)
As Greg Packer once said…
Greg Packer, a 50-year-old, retired highway maintenance worker has a unique collection: quotes. To be exact, his quotes … to drill down even further, his goal in life is to be the most quoted man in the world. And so far, he’s on track to fulfill his dream, having been quoted by media outlets nearly a thousand times. Somehow, he’s finagled his way in front of a camera to speak on such wide-ranging topics as the Iraq war and the first iPhone, on neither of which he’s an expert. He’s been quoted so often that the Associated Press has banned using him in any more articles. Speaking of quotes, we’ve got a whole collection of them, too! Source: The New Yorker
David Morgan has a collection that is the envy of all Department of Traffic groupies: traffic cones. The 72-year-old Brit has gathered 500 of them since 1986, including one from Malaysia and another from Scotland. “Some people probably think it’s dull,” he told the London Mirror. “If I go to dinner parties and tell people I’m a cone collector they quickly move on.” Source: mirror.com
He won’t be collecting cavities
Tucker Viemeister won’t run out of toothpaste anytime soon. He’s got a whole wall of tubes—over 200 from around the world. The 66-year-old designer from New York started his collection in the mid-80s while visiting Finland, where he found a toothpaste with the formidable name Flourihammastahna, Finnish for Fluoride toothpaste. Through the years, Veimeister has become somewhat of an expert on international tooth care. French toothpaste often tastes like desserts, he says, while some Japanese toothpastes have ultra-fruity flavors. Here are some benefits of collecting toothpaste! Source: The Wall Street Journal
Navel fluff, anyone?
Graham Barker has been collecting his own navel fluff since 1984, and since then, he has broken the world record for belly button fluff collecting. In other words, he now gets paid for his belly button lint collection. “It’s certainly an unusual and different commodity to collect,” he says on his website. “But then it’s people’s differences that make life in this world interesting. Collecting navel fluff consumes negligible time and space, and costs nothing, so I see it as harmless.” That’s not the only strange thing Barker collects. He also saves his beard clippings. (Ever wonder what belly button lint really is?)
Everyone loves sweets
Everyone loves sugar, but a German man named Ralf Schroeder might love it more than everybody. Schroder started collecting sugar packets in 1987 and even has packets that date back to the 1950s. According to the Guinness World Records, Schroder has collected 14,502 different sugar packets as of May 14, 2013. Unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much sugar.
Here’s one way to encourage a healthy diet
His wife complains that he spends more time with his collection than he does with her, but that doesn’t stop his fascination with fruit stickers. Retired greengrocer, Christopher Crawcour, has been collecting fruit stickers for over 25 years. Since then, he’s accumulated 30,000 stickers. (Speaking of fruit, here are ten that are great for your health!)
Moo-ve over for this one
Most milk comes packaged in plastic containers. So when you see milk packaged in glass bottles, it may feel like a luxury. Not surprisingly, there are people who collect these types of milk bottles. In fact, there’s even a National Association of Milk Bottle Collectors. This year at the New York State Fair, Roger Thomas, sometimes referred to as the “milk bottle king,” showed off his collection of over 10,000 milk bottles that he’s collected since the 1960s. “I started when I was 12, digging through the farm dump,” Thomas told syracuse.com. “I had 12 bottles.” Fortunately, we have good news: Glass bottles may be making a comeback!
With this many talking clocks, you’ll never feel alone
For a collection that started as an accident in 1990, Mark McKinley has surely outshone every other talking clock collector alive. He owns 954 of them with his oldest dating back to 1911. Since not all of his clocks are set to the correct time, chimes and time announcements echo throughout McKinley’s home all day long. McKinley’s collection can be viewed online through the International Society of Talking Clock Collectors website. (If you don’t happen to have 954 talking clocks laying around, here’s how you can use your internal clock to improve your health.)