Collecting Do-Not-Disturb Signs and Other Strange Collections

The person who said one man’s treasure is another’s garbage certainly knew what they were talking about. What is valuable to one may be completely worthless to someone else. Where one would pay money to get rid of something, another may pay good money to get hold of it. And so, we know collectors of the world collect all manners of things – the good, the strange and the frankly disgusting!

Do-not-disturb signs

Yes, those tags they put on doors of hotels and so on! Edoardo Flores; an Italian civil servant started his collection back in the 90s when he was a frequent traveler. Various languages, clever designs and very varied cultural references; this is an interesting collection to be sure!

Back-scratcher collection

For many of us, a back scratcher is a wonderful little object, which permits us to reach places that our own nails cannot. But who needs a collection of them? Lots of people apparently and they are led by world record holder Manfred S. Rothstein who has collected 675 back scratchers from 71 countries.

Air sickness bag collector

Surprising number of people collect these. You could call them travel enthusiasts or you can call them bar bag collectors. Niek Vermeulen of the Netherlands holds the world record for the largest collection of 6,290 airline sickness bags. He has collected these from nearly 200 countries and 1,191 different airlines.

For the love of chicken

Elkhart County’s Joann and Cecil Dixon love chicken apparently. They have collected chicken-related items for over 40 years and with 6,505 objects, they hold the world record for the biggest such collection.

Toenail clipping collection

So this is where the collections take a turn for the weird. Richard Gibson of Lafayette, Louisiana has not thrown away a single nail clipping since 1978. It took two years to fill a small box; now they are housed in a glass jar. Disgusting or interesting? A little bit of both!

Celebrity hair collection

This is an obsession that dates back to the Victorian era. John Reznikoff claims to have in his possession celebrity hair locks of people such as Napoleon, Chopin and J F Kennedy. He and other hair collectors have collections that are very valuable indeed – in terms of monetary value and the fund of DNA information they contain!

Navel fluff

The reason this one is simply flat-out gross to me is that this particular collection must be foul-smelling and if one is hygienic, that is not a good sign! However, for Australian librarian Graham Barker, 26 years have yielded enough navel lint to get him an entry into the Guinness book of world records. He also collects rocks, maps (normal), bakery bags (unusual) and… wait for it, beard clippings (flat out weird).

ABC nicotine gumball collection

What is ABC, you ask? It stands for Already Been Chewed. Barry Chappell has created a large ball of chewed nicotine gum – 95,200 chewed pieces all rolled up in one ball. This is absurd by itself and also raises the question: how much nicotine did this guy consume in the process?

Love-dolls collection

And what is a love-doll, may I ask? Well, Wikipedia tells me it is a life-size substitute for a sexual partner; with life-like parts; some which may vibrate and may also be removable. If this hasn’t wierded you out completely, this might: it isn’t some lonely guy who collects these but a couple called Lizzie and Bob Gibbons. They share their home with a fantasy family of 240 such dolls.

Teeth collection

Originally from Kerala and now living in Abu Dhabi, Dr Nizar Abdul Rahman, is a dentist who extracts and preserves teeth. He has close to ten thousand now; including VIP teeth! Say it with me: Ugh!

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