There are a lot of things I outwardly loathe. Of those things, collections and the activity known as collecting are at the tippy top of the list. And if what you're collecting is plastic, especially useless and of no foreseeable value even after a century of living in original shrink wrap - the loathing becomes even more extreme and all-encompassing.
Take the KFC Dale Jr. collectible chicken buckets, for instance. Really? Is there a segment of the population so overwhelmed with creepy misplaced love for a man who drives a car that they would not only purchase an entire bucket of chicken in his name, but then save the gree-zy bucket for future reminiscing and nostalgia? Stunning.
And then there's Adults Who Collect Stuffed Toys. Nothing activates my gag reflex quite like the sight of a bookshelf lined with chronologically organized Beanie Babies. And if they have protective plastic covers snapped over their red heart tags then there had better be a trash can nearby and ready access to a baseball bat.
Oh, and freaks who have display cases full of every McDonald's Happy Meal Toy ever spawned. Hate.
Then when I'm vacationing somewhere and pass a trinket hut selling googley-eyed seashells with sparkly puff paint reading, "Hawaii".
I have to ask why, people? Where is that going to go in your house? On the mantel? I think not.
And I'll tell you right now, no one wants it - so don't go giving it away to anyone. Because they're going to go home and say not nice things about what a tool you are and how it's because of people like you that our landfills are full of grains of rice with your name on it.
Yes, that is right. We know who you are. Didn't think about that, did ya?
So, clearly, my hatred runs a deep scary swath through my soul.
And yet, I went to the 7-Eleven turned Kwik E Mart this morning and spent $1.62 on a Lisa Simpson twisty straw/magnet from which I plan to drink every single beverage until its pink plastic structure is eroded by time and/or usage.
And this is because the warm fuzziness hearkened by The Simpsons is apparently stronger than the bitter bile churned up by being the sucker of an obvious marketing scheme aimed at pathetic collectors.
To be sure, I am stewing in my own fresh shame.
Meanwhile, see how fun?
Of course, I didn't have to buy anything. I could have settled for being the loser taking pictures of donuts and empty shelves. But, as it turns out, the allure of a pink twisty straw AND THEMED MAGNET was more that my weakened restraint could handle.
Please note, however, the lack of a photo featuring me with my arms thrust around Homer's neck. In a rare moment of restraint (self-consciousness) I managed to sidestep that particular embarrassing impulse.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
And, for anyone who's wondering, no - I don't see any irony or contradiction in this post.