When I was young, I collected Hot Wheels cars. Matchbox too. I remember those John Cleese commercials where he’d slip one into his shirt pocket, and that always made me feel so good. I made my mother buy me a white dress shirt with two breast pockets just so I could stand in front of the mirror and slip into my pockets my two favorite Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars again and again.
I collected them. Like I do guitars, books, Elvis Costello albums, tattoos and Evan bottles, I collected every one of them I could find. They had realistic die-cast metal miniature automobiles with vibrant colors and awesome chrome wheels (and sometimes flake paint). It was magical when my mom would take me to the Wal-Mart and I had a five-dollar bill in my pocket. I could buy five new cars. They were 89 cents apiece. The only problems I ran into back then was which five or six to get. There were so many to choose from, and I knew that at any minute, Matel could go out of business and the Wal-Mart could burn down, and I’d be forever kept from completing my collection. So I had to select the best five.