21
Jan

Why junk collecting is good

Everyone collects something that's a little weird. Sport fanatics collect footy jerseys and signed cricket bats. Internet junkies collect MP3s and ripped DVDs. Nature lovers collect pets and plants. People with too much money collect Ferraris and yachts and tropical islands. People who can't think of anything else to collect go for stamps.

Personally, I collect tickets. I absolutely love collecting every ticket that I (or my friends or family or acquaintances) can get my hands on. It started off as just train tickets, but over the years my collection has grown to include movie tickets, bus tickets, plane tickets, ski tickets, theme park tickets, concert tickets, and many more.

When I see my friends after not having seen them for a while, I am greeted not with a handshake or a hug, but with a formidable pile of tickets that they've saved up for me. When my wallet gets too full with them, I empty them out and add them to the ever-burgeoning box in my room. I even received several thousand train tickets for my birthday last year. Basically, I am a ticket whore. No matter how many of the ruddy things I get, my thirst for more can never be quenched.

The obvious question that has confronted me many times: why? Why oh why, of all things, do I collect tickets? I mean, it's not like I do anything with them - they just sit in my room in a big box, and collect dust! What's the point? Do I plan to ever use these tickets to contribute to the global good of humanity? Am I hoping that in 5000 year's time, they'll be vintage collector's items, and my great-x104-grandchildren will be able to sell them and become millionaires? Am I waiting until I have enough that if I chucked them in a big bucket of water and swirled them around, I'd have enough recycled paper to last me for the rest of my life? WHY?

The answer to this is the same as the answer to why most people collect weird junk: why not? No, at the moment I don't have any momentous plans for my beloved tickets. I just continue to mindlessly collect them, as I have done for so long already. But does there have to be a reason, a point, a great guiding light for everything we do in life? If you ask me, it's enough to just say: "I've done it for this long, a bit more couldn't hurt". Of course, this philosophy applies strictly to innocent things such as ticket-collecting: please do not take this to imply in any way that I condone serial killing / acts of terrorism / etc etc, under the same umbrella. But for many other weird junk-collecting hobbies (e.g. sand grain collecting, rusty ex-electronic-component collecting, leaf collecting - and no, I don't collect any of these! ... yet :-)), the same why not principle can and should be applied.

So yes, ticket collecting is pointless, and despite that - no, because of that - I will continue to engage in it for as long as I so fancy. No need to spurt out any philosophical mumbo-jumbo about how I'm making a comment on nihilism or chaos theory or the senselessness of life or any of that, because I'm not. I just like collecting tickets! Plans for the future? I will definitely count them one day... should be a riveting project. I may take up the suggestion I was given once, about stapling them all together to make the world's longest continuous string of tickets. Yeah, Guinness Book of Records would be good. But then again, I might do nothing with them. After all, there's just so many of them!

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