I'm not sure why I started collecting them. I think I just kept finding badges I liked and then when I had more than fifty I decided I might as well call it a collection. I know most people aren't interested in collections. They seem to be associated closely with being both boring and crazy, an unlikely and unfortunate combination. But my badge collection is one that people always seem to take to with interest. I wear a good amount of them on the strap of my shoulder bag and people always comment on them. There have been a few cafes I have frequented where I have been known simply as 'The Badge Girl'. Just this afternoon I was picking up a few winners* in the op-shop down the road and the woman said with a grin that she would keep an eye out for more badges for me.
I think people take to them because they can cover a variety of areas. Nostalgia, humour, music, there are no shortages of designs. Also, my collection is that excellent. Here are a few of my favourites that are currently in circulation:
- 'Obama Pug' and 'Iguanas for Obama'. Looks like a joke, but these came from a serious website. Apparently this woman actually thinks pets should express political opinions.
- "Go fork yourself" with a picture of a fork.
- A cartoon of a Panda that says "Wanted dead or alive! This is a bad panda"
- "Satan Was A Lesbian" and all the others in that set. It was a set of all kinds of retro cult movie posters. Other winners included "She Learned The Hard Way", "Nautipuss" and many others.
- "WWSJD?" This is actually a Dr Who badge but my name is also Sarah Jane so yes.
- Andrew McLelland's Finishing School badge. One of the main reasons I would move to Melbourne.
- Assortment of indie band badges. I found this website once that had all these badges for obscure bands, TV shows and even authors that were all a dollar, with free international shipping. I have no idea why in the name of hell I did not bookmark this site. I think it might have been like the internet equivalent of the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter.
- "Hitler was a Nazi"
- "NO PIPELINE COMMUNIST THIEVES" I have no idea what this even means, but there is also a skull and crossbones on it?
- "The Comedy Of Errors by Shakespeare Motor Cycle Club" One of my favourites. This is from around 1974. The Shakespeare Motor Cycle Club where a group of motorbike enthusiasts who used to have rallies named after Shakespeare's plays. This was one of their official badges.
- "Hello! My friend" with a picture of some kind of child devil.
- I have about six badges that are all weird comments about gnomes, usually puns. None that I can find right now though.
- A roadsign that says "You Shall Not Pass", picture of an approximation of Gandalf
- "No Woman No Chai"
So yeah, that's the part of my collection that is "currently on display". As you can see, my badge collection is the best. And it makes me really easy to buy presents for. If anyone wants to get me on side, all they pretty much have to do is lay down five bucks on some sweet badges.
*The badges I bought today: a Healthy Harold badge, a picture of a racecar that says "flossing is for winners", a circa 1985 african american teen named 'Zack'. I don't know who he is, but he sure has 'tude, a cow's face that says moo a few times and has some bubbles and stripes. All these were in the 20c box which made me feel like I was doing excellent shopping.