I’m not usually one to criticize other people’s hobbies. I have a few of my own that might not fit the usual definition of mainstream. I can watch reruns of 80s TV shows all day long. I have an unhealthy fascination with Barry Manilow. And so on.
But this guy, well, this guy puzzles me.
Jean-Guy Laquerre is, as you probably have guessed by now, Canadian. He likes Santa Claus. Really, really, really likes Santa Claus. So he started collecting Santa stuff. And hasn’t stopped. Mr. Laquerre now owns , at last count, 25,189 pieces of Santa memorabilia.
Twenty-five thousand! People like this fascinate me. What keeps them going, to collect even more? Is there ever an end point? Do you just become obsessed with collecting every little thing ever? Does Mr. Laquerre have, like, one prized item of Santa-rifficness that he’s never gotten, a white whale of the man with the white beard?
I picture him at night, desperately plotting a way to get that hard-to-find Kris Kringle nightlight he once saw in Montreal in 1983.
Laquerre is in the Guinness Book of World Records, not surprisingly.
And man, one day, he could have one hell of a garage sale.
**I love it when a story I stumble upon moves me in my soul. Yes, I’m a sap. But as it’s the holidays and all, these kinds of stories seem to appear more frequently.
Paul Daugherty is a very talented writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer. His daughter Jillian has Down’s Syndrome. She has recently become a very important part of the Northern Kentucky University basketball program.
Read this if you need reminding of how much the human spirit can accomplish when they just believe in themselves.
And have others who believe in them, too.
**Finally, because amused me, two guys singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Trivia: My friend Andrew Lipton once lived with a guy in college who was the son of the lead singer of The Tokens, who sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” And yes, the poor kid was serenaded with “Oh Weem A Wep” his whole life.