Monday, July 28, 2008

Trading Cards ~ Do Little Boys Ever Grow Up?


Probably not, actually. Some grow wider, some go bald, others publish blogs, but grow up? NEVER!

When I was a kid baseball cards were the thing. They were also called trading cards. You bought a pack of bubble gum and there was a card inside. You wanted to collect the complete set. That was what the bubble gum company said! COLLECT THE COMPLETE SET!

Of course the piece of bubble gum and the card were inside a wrapper. You didn't find out which card you got until you tore off the wrapper. The most famous players were the most sought after of course. One Ted Williams was better than ten unknown rookies. The fair way to make cards would be to make the same number of each player. A kid's dream would be to make ten times as many cards of the favorite players. I suspected by the tender age of eight that what they really did was make ten times as many cards of the unknown players on losing teams. That would encourage you to buy more and more bubble gum as you pursued The Complete Set.

More recently I've also thought that the evil dentists might also have had a hand in planning this. Sweet sugary gum! A sure way to produce cavities. (Why do dentists always insist on calling them "carries"?) Then they could get you in the chair, jam sharp needles in your gum, and charge your parents a bloody fortune to fill holes in teeth that were going to be falling out and replaced with your adult set of chompers by the time you lost interest in collecting The Complete Set. Twenty years later you might start to become concerned about retaining The Complete Set of Teeth, but inbetween times the dentist starves.

But we're mature folks now, and everybody carries business cards. Digital technology allows us to print full color cards at home or at the office, and put pictures on them as well. All that's missing are the baseball uniforms. Everyplace we go we meet people and trade cards. Don't forget to collect the complete set!

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