Friday, March 23, 2012
I recently overhauled my diet. A major, sweeping change. It was out of necessity. Doctor's orders. Considering that I am healthy in just about every measurement that the general public uses to judge tip-top shape, I'm still dealing with the emotional resentment that comes with this new direction. But I agree, it's for the best.
This means, when I go out to a restaurant -- and this has happened already -- I do not order what other people order. I order something that appears "less fun," or "sad," even. But, really, I'm OK with it. I'll have to get used to other people's reactions to what I'm eating (that's OK, sir, just keep pounding down those cheeseburgers). But that won't be much of an issue either.
That's because I'm used to being an oddball.
I've always had oddball tastes. Not VASTLY oddball -- as today's alternative and extreme lifestyles have demonstrated -- but out of the mainstream just enough.
I was an alternative music guy in college (what is now known as "original alternative" -- REM, The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, etc.). I steer away from mainstream humor (i.e. most sitcoms), and, for a sports guy, I'm very limited in the sports that I appreciate. So, when I say I don't like college football or Tim Allen or what passes for music today, sometimes I get looks. Sometimes I'm accused of being whiny. Sometimes, the room goes quiet.
"He's an oddball."
This is nothing I haven't heard since back in high school. And I've long since known that it's not my problem. It's their problem.
And, of course, once you reach adulthood, you find there are plenty of people who think, act, do and be like you are. In any area that you choose. There is always a place to call home.
In collecting, for example, there is an appreciation for oddball cards among a certain group. I relate to those kind of collectors.
Ryan, of The Great Orioles Autograph Project, recently put some late '80s/early '90s oddball sets up for grabs and I went right to the sets with the crazy names.
And now, I have me a complete set of 1992's Mootown Snackers and most of 1994's Yoohoo Collector's Cards.
These two sets intrigued me not only because of the "oooooo" in the names, but also because:
1) They are unlicensed
2) These are products I've never consumed.
I've never seen Mootown Snackers ever. I had to look up the brand to see that it was string cheese. As for Yoohoo, I've seen it around. I've never drank it because I have an aversion to chocolate milk. While all the other kids were knocking it down by the gallon and buzzing a half foot off the ground -- loudly -- I was quietly repulsed.
I was the oddball.
It was a kid-sized tragedy, because what kid doesn't want to order up something called "Yoohoo"?
But onto the cards. I'll start with the Mootown Snackers cards first. Another reason I jumped on those is because I knew I needed the Darryl Strawberry card in the set for my Dodger collection (I will have to obtain another one, unless I want to break up this set).
That's the back of the card for the three of you who have never seen these before. Each card has a fake autograph, thus "autograph series."
The set did not have the rights to MLB logos, which is why you get some great, awkward photos in the set.
George Brett looks like he's wearing his jammies. Clemens looks like he's pitching for the waste removal softball team.
The Yoohoo set featured old-time greats. I didn't receive all the cards in this set. Aparicio, Carlton, Clemente and Gibson are missing.
As you can see by the checklist, the set is lousy with Yankees.
At least the old-time photos are cool.
Bonds is a Yankee, too, even though he spent just a year with the team. (Better than getting him as a Giant, though. Or, worse, getting a card of his son).
These are two of my favorites.
The end of the set is a four-card subset with a photograph demonstrating how certain basics of the game are created. I thought this photo was interesting.
Every time I receive cards like this, there is part of me that wants to collect just oddball cards and nothing else. It would go with the general theme in my life.
As for my new oddball diet -- I'm now one of those people shopping in the healthfood stores. The Mootown Snackers would be OK for me to eat, in moderation. But Yoohoo is definitely out. Not that I liked it anyway.
I know. Oddball.