Sometime between 1985 and 1990, I collected Garbage Pail Kids. These cards were funny and gross, which made them a bit taboo. My sister had a Cabbage Patch Doll, so that made these cards a must have for my teenage self. To be fair, I’m guessing she enjoyed the stickers as much as I did though I don’t ever remember asking her.
My mom didn’t really have money to give me to use on a pack of stickers with gum, so I had to get my money another way. I did some odd jobs. I went mushrooming and was really good at identifying sweet tooths, a mushroom that is expensive and light, which meant I didn’t make a ton of money from them. The same guy that taught and took me mushrooming also hired me to help him clean a church.
I’m not sure how much either of these jobs had to do with my ability to get Garbage Pail Kids; my memory is a little fuzzy about the time frame. The most likely source of my income was a good savings – back when we could get five percent from the banks – and cans. As a child, I was really good at saving my money. I didn’t need to spend it all at once, and on a couple of occasions, I was able to supplement my mom’s budget to make rent or buy food.
It’s more likely that my money came from cans. We lived close to a couple of parks frequented by older kids looking to get drunk. They would leave their cans in the woods near a concrete structure that took some bushwhacking to get to. We could also find cans in the trash bins around the bigger of the parks. At 25 cents, it didn’t take many of them to get enough to be able to afford a pack of Garbage Pail Kids. Oregon’s can deposit was five cents at the time.
When I had enough cans, I would go down to the Stop and Go and turn in cans. Half the money would go to Garbage Pail Kids, and half would go to my savings. I’d pull out the crunchy gum and admire the cards. Somehow, I wound up with a display box to keep my cards safe. Later, I was able to get a plastic case designed specifically for the cards.
Like all fads, Garbage Pail Kids faded, and I’ve had my cards in storage for a long time. I found them recently, and it looks like it’s time to find them a good home. Any takers?
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