Collecting weird things: potato chip bags
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 12:25AM
Political Mammal in My personal history

Nobody has ever accused me of being ordinary or conventional, but I try to cultivate some deliberate idiosyncrasies so that I have something to talk about when the conversation flags. For instance, I collect potato chip bags.

I have noticed that many people collect weird things. I am not sure why we do that -- maybe it is genetic -- maybe we are like the crows that supposedly collect shiny objects. For me it started in 1989 with three previously trash-bound potato chip bags from my work desk.

You cannot be self-conscious about collecting a sophisticated and classy thing like potato chip bags – you must own it, take pride in it, and encourage others to help you find prize additions to your collection. I have not done much lately in that regard -- last 10 years -- but I still welcome contributions. My rules are: two ounce bag or smaller, potato products only (no corn chips, pretzels).

The nice thing about potato chip bags is that the new ones run only about 69 cents, and you can eat the chips before keeping the bag. You can also store the empty bags in shoebox. On the other hand, they do tend to stick together a bit over time.  Occasionally you can find an old one on eBay.

I am bored, of course, by the standard fare – Lays, Wise, Utz, and so on. I prefer oddities. I have potato chips from around the world, including: Mexico, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Belgium, Greece, Turkey, England, Pakistan, Switzerland, France, South Korea.

Here are a few of my favorites:

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