I have always wanted to collect something no one else in the world collects.
That’s hard to do. Over the years at Channel 8, I have interviewed people with very odd collections: there was a man with thousands of different sugar packets, someone with hundreds of mousetraps and one person with a garage full of water sprinklers. One guy had 10,000 hubcaps. Another had 2,500 monkey wrenches.
Once I even did a report on a woman who collects stamps. How weird is that hobby?
In a way, it’s kind of dumb if you’re the only one collecting something. There’s no one to brag to when you finally find whatever it is you’ve been looking for to complete your collection. And there’s no one to sell it to when you realize how you have been wasting the last 20 years of your life. Wow, I sure talked myself out of that idea, didn’t I?
The other day I was at the car wash and, of all places, I noticed a great assortment of greeting cards — cards that are funnier, I might add, than your average Hallmark selection. I think people need a good laugh when both they and their cars are getting soaked for 20 bucks.
Many of the cards had cartoons and greetings depicting political figures. I counted 25 different ones, replete with caricatures and satirical remarks about Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton and, of course, Donald Trump.
They wish you Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary and Get Well Soon, and there was even a Happy Bar Mitzvah card from “Uncle Bernie,” including a slot for a HUGE check. There were also some remaining cards of Bob Dole, back when he was only 80 years old and doing Viagra commercials.
When I got home, I went online to find out how far back the idea of funny political greeting cards went. I wanted to research a little of their history. I Yahoo-ed, I Googled — but I found nothing. How strange is that?
I called my friend Mike McQuillen, one of the top political button collectors in the country. I asked him if he knew anything about the history of these greeting cards with political references and illustrations.
“Not a clue,” he said.
Certainly a political cartoonist would know. I know one of the best, so I called him. “Drawing a blank, Dick. And that’s not something most cartoonists will admit to.”
I called a political science professor at IU. “Sorry, I never thought about it, Mr. Wolfsie. Actually, I think I can safely say no one has ever thought about it.”
Was it possible I had found something that no one else collected? This was my big chance to get in on the ground floor of what could become a national craze.
I went back to the car wash and bought a dozen cards, and then I headed over to Hallmark, CVS and Kroger to look at their selections. By the time I was through, I had 25 different politically-themed greeting cards.
I have seven with Donald Trump, alone. So, now I’m thinking of starting a club, and maybe creating a website or publishing a monthly newsletter on the topic.
And why not? Right now — I have to be honest with you — I have the largest collection in the world. Believe me.
Television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to email@example.com.