Sunday, March 26, 2006

Collecting Soda Labels

Written by James Fohl

Pretty much everybody in this world has a hobby, and the few people that do not have any hobbies are either really boring, or simply unaware of what their hobbies are. After all, hobbies can be pretty much anything, right?

An example of the statement, hobbies can be pretty much anything is one of my good friends whom I have had for several years. He has a crazy obsession with soda bottle caps and labels. You can go into his house, and in his closet you can find boxes, and boxes of soda bottle caps, lids, and labels that he has removed over the years from countless brands of soda pop.

While some of the bottle caps are metal and have graphics on them, a lot of the caps in his collection are simply those plastic caps you find on the twenty ounce or two liter bottles of soda. I asked him why in the world he has so many white plastic caps.

He told me that they were not all the same, and pointed out that each cap was from a different soda bottler. Looking through the pile of different Pepsi cola two liter bottle caps, I saw that he had collected a ton of soda bottle caps from a bunch of different soda bottlers across the United States, and even some parts of Canada.

I was completely shocked that someone would do this, but he was my friend and I was not going to make fun of his hobbies, especially considering I had some pretty weird hobbies. I did ask him how he managed to get caps from all those different bottlers, and he explained to me that he would pick up a bottle of soda at every grocery store he would visit when he went on vacation. He also told me that he had some friends on the internet that would exchange different bottle caps every now and then.

I was really shocked at how weird this hobby was, but my friend seemed to be very excited, as he showed me several shoe boxes full of different bottler caps. I faked interest until he put the caps away and brought out his label collection.

Now the soda bottle labels were a lot more interesting. He told me that he had been collecting labels for well over twenty years now, and kept them all in little scrap books, or binders. He had a lot, and to tell you the truth it was actually quite interesting to look through the binders and see how the labels have changed over the years, as well as looking at all the varieties he had collected labels for over the years.

One of the things that really caught my attention was the amount of generic Dr. Pepper labels he had collected. He must have had over two hundred different labels depicting different generic brands of Dr. Pepper. They all started with either the words Dr. or Mr. and ended with whatever weird word you could come up with. There were simple ones, such as Dr. Cola, and totally weird ones such as Dr. FizzALot.

My friend's soda bottle label collection was quite interesting, a lot more so than just the plain white bottle caps with different bottlers information on them. While my friend just basically through the bottle caps in shoe boxes, you could really see the time and effort he had put in to organizing the soda bottle labels in nice little scrap books; you could also see how he really enjoyed showing his hard work off.

In the end, I think my friend has a really cool hobby. Seeing different soda bottle labels was actually quite fun. While I could probably never start collecting soda labels as a hobby, it was really interesting to find out that people actually do that. If you are looking for a weird hobby, then maybe you should start a scrapbook of the different soda bottle labels that you come across. Who knows, maybe you will really enjoy it, and maybe ten years in the future you could go on a television show showing off your scrapbooks of different soda bottle labels. But, maybe just maybe, you should probably stick with the labels and ignore the plain white bottle caps so no one thinks you are too weird.

No comments: