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June 26, 1996

A Real Collectible
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved


Everyone has something they collect, like thimbles or matchbooks or baseball cards. I collect dust.

This is not an easy hobby to have. It requires an immense amount of patience to sit still long enough for dust to settle. Cheaters will scrape dust off of old boxes in the garage, pound pillows and mattresses. But the true dust afficionado will only keep the dust he collects on his own.

"Dust collecting has seen a real jump in popularity in recent years," says Gail Frid, present chairperson of the IDAA (International Dust Afficionados Association). "With the growing spread of satellite dishes, big screen televisions, and universal remotes, more and more people are getting into it."

"It's become a real wholesome activity," Frid adds. "On a good TV night, like the night Seinfeld is on, entire families will gather around the television and collect dust together. Probably the biggest dust days, though, are Sundays during football season. Give them an easily accessible supply of beer and chips, fresh batteries in the remote, and a large bottle to pee in so they don't have to get up, and many men will spend the entire day on the couch, collecting dust."

Navel lint is also recognized by the IDAA. As opposed to most forms of environmental dust, which must be kept in jars, navel lint can be rolled into a ball and it can be collected as you go through your normal daily routine. Abner Neuwirth of Fort King, Nebraska has a lint ball that's almost four feet in diameter. "The secret," says Abner, a champion linter and regular performer at I Can't Believe It's Not Female, "is to wear natural fabrics. Wools and cottons are good, but tight fuzzy sweaters are really the best."

According to Abner, being a linter is also a great secondary hobby for dust collectors. "It's just a fact of life that belly-buttons collect lint, whether you're active or not. Seeing as you've got the lint, why let it go to waste."

So, if you've got a lot of spare time on your hands, consider taking up one of these hobbies. Then when your parents or spouse accuse you of sitting around the house and doing nothing you can say "I'm doing something. I'm collecting dust."

Most likely, they'll agree with you.


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