Saturday, July 23, 2016

I'm a slob

Last night after dinner I was organizing some cards for packages that will go out next week.

In the process of stacking and crossing things off the spreadsheet, I realized I hadn't enjoyed a post-dinner treat. So I grabbed a small bit of chocolate and a napkin and went back to the cards.

Soon afterward, I noticed with disgust that I had gotten a small smudge of chocolate on the above Bowman Stephen Strasburg card. This has happened more times than you would think or that I would care to admit, but it was the inspiration for a poll I posted on Twitter.

I wondered:

How often do you get food on your cards?

It doesn't happen a heck of a lot for me. Probably under a dozen times since I've started this blog. But it does happen, and I figured it had to happen for others.

The Twitter polls are posted for a day and this particular one got some decent play because Beckett Media retweeted it.

The final results are in and here they are:

Yeah, I'm a slob.

These results surprised me somewhat, but not a lot. With Beckett retweeting it, I imagine there are all kinds of card-grading people who got a look at this who are horrified by the thought of human hands touching cards, let alone some sort of food product.

But it also seems there are a lot of commoner collectors who don't let food anywhere near their cards, which did surprise me. If I were voting in the poll, I probably would have selected "sometimes," but I'd be tempted to pick "hobby and food go together" because, in my life, they do.

I don't have a lot of time in my day. There are a lot of things I have to get out of the way before I deal with eating, blogging and playing with cards. So guess what happens often? Yup, I have to do it all at once.

Many of my blog posts, especially when I'm working during the school year, are written at lunch time. I have a sandwich on my computer table, inches from the keyboard, and a stack of cards du jour in the same area, and I'm scanning and flipping and munching and typing all at the same time.

Food and card sometimes meet. I get it off as quickly as I can, but it happens. And I'm not all that shaken up about it. It's just the way things have to be. There isn't enough time to have both "card time" and "food time" all the time.

It's kind of odd when I think about it because I absolutely hate food stains when I see them on cards. But the part that bothers me is the "leaving it on there" part. Most food can be removed quickly. You didn't see any chocolate smudge on the Strasburg scan because it came right off -- shocking!

The funny thing about posting the poll is that it was obvious right away that people were alarmed by the thought of food coming in contact with cards, and yet that very night, at my house, it was all about food coming in contact with cards.

During the evening, I settled down in my favorite chair and turned on the Mariners-Blue Jays game. I grabbed some taco chips and a beer and a couple of baseball card binders and happily munched and slurped away as I watched the game and turned card pages.

I realized that I was probably getting taco chip dust all over the cards even with napkins in the area. I didn't care. This probably happens all the time. There is no greater joy in life than snacking while filing cards while watching a baseball game. You're telling me I can't do them all at once? I'm getting chip dust on my cards!

Of course I'm not going to eat french fries or anything greasy or messy while handling cards. But most spills can be handled with a napkin/paper towel/wet wipe. These cards are not putting my kid through college. They're just happy pieces of cardboard.

Later that night, while the Dodgers game was entering the 15th inning, I grabbed a small bowl of ice cream as fans often do in extra frames. I set the bowl down on my desk, when I realized I had done it again.

Sorry guys, I'm just a slob.

(P.S.: I took the Strasburg card out of the packaging pile. I don't want to scar anyone).


  1. "These cards are not putting my kid through college. They're just happy pieces of cardboard."
    Finally, someone gets me!

  2. I don't see a smudge on the card. Perhaps I got chocolate on my phone screen.

  3. I still have the pile of 2004 Cracker Jack singles that I spilled soda on as a kid. They're mostly all right now, but even over a decade later, you can still see some slight discoloration and peeling at the edges from the Diet Coke. I don't often eat and sort my cards at the same time, but eating and scanning have always gone hand in hand for me.

  4. 10 years ago, chances are that a snack would be near a card pile.

    Now, not even close. Usually a few feet away on another table altogether if I do have a snack going while I'm at the card/computer table.

    And if I do eat while sorting or posting, washing my hands when done is a must. I guess anal would be the word for it...

  5. For me I am way too OCD to do something like that. I will even get up and wash my hands if they feel dirty or even if it's been too long since I last washed them. If I leave a fingerprint on a card it's time to wash them again. I also try not to touch doorknobs and shopping carts if I can help it.

  6. Also one of my biggest pet peeves in the hobby is getting cards with greasy fingerprints on them. I was once gifted an almost complete 220 card set and every single one was covered job grease on both sides. Nasty.

  7. I tend not to have food around when I am working with my cards because I know I am a slob and will spill something on the cards. That said, I am not as bothered by stained cards as some folks. I won't willingly buy a stained card, unless it is an otherwise unobtainable card (think 1956 Clemente), but I don't get worked up about having them. Here is why:

    4 odd years ago, right after I had been laid off from my job, I received a package of cards for the 1977 set I was building from Chris Stufflestreet. A fair number of the cards appeared to have a coffee stain on the lower right hand corner as if someone spilled onto a stack. That package was a real pick me up during one of the darker times in my life. Seeing those stains reminds me of where the cards came from. And in this hobby, which can often be very solitary, reminders of community are important.

  8. If it is a weekend night that I am with my cards, it's a high likelihood that I have a glass of wine, or a beer, or a gin buck, or some other drink right next to my cards. In fact, on weekends, even during the day, it's pretty likely that I'll have at least water or coffee nearby.

    I'm with you, though, on my cards -- they are my hobby. My getaway from reality. My fun. If people can make money off them after I'm gone, so be it. They aren't an investment. They are fun.

  9. I'm right there with you... always a drink nearby and sometimes crumbs too... who cares? It's supposed to be fun!

  10. People who clicked "Never, you slob" obviously can't appreciate all of the awesome food issues like Kellogg's, Mother's Cookies, and 7-11 Slurpee discs. Their loss is our gain.