Commentary By Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News




It’s amazing how a fun, simple hobby can escalate into something ill-fated.

It’s a tale as old as time. Take Ben Franklin, for instance. The man just wanted to fly a kite and was struck by lightning. Abe Lincoln, a theater enthusiast, just wanted to take in a play and John Wilkes Booth shot him.

Golfers get struck by lightning. Race car drivers crash. Tennis players get “tennis elbow.” Gamblers get “Vegas elbow.” Gardeners get stung by bees and cooks get burned. It’s a vicious cycle.

I collect vinyl records. I am an allergy sufferer. You’re about to hear tale of how the two do not mesh.

A couple of weeks ago, I was conducting extensive research for a story for our upcoming Vision magazine, which is coming out June 27. I knew you were dying to know.

I stopped at Krotzer’s Flea Market in Kimberly and just asked a man there if he had any records, which of course he did. Another man who had pulled up shortly after I did informed me that he had hundreds of records in the back of his truck that he’d sell me for $40. It seemed like a good deal, so I took him up on his offer.

And there were literally hundreds upon hundreds of old records. The man had purchased them at an estate sale, which means they had probably been sitting around in someone’s old, dusty basement for a quarter of a century.

A few days after bringing them into my house, I began to feel a little stuffy. That was followed by the sore throat, ear imbalance, coughing and wheezing. It then occurred to me that my “deal of the century” had made me ill.

My mom has a severe allergic reaction to paper mold and can’t have old paper of any kind in the house. I had experienced something similar a year or so ago after looking through bound copies of The North Jefferson News. Genetics can be a real pain in the rear sometimes.

Looking through 400-500 records isn’t as much fun when you’re sneezing every few minutes. It was then I realized I had to do something with them. So, I bought three Sterilite containers from Target at a cost of about $12 each and began to file my bounty away. To offset my symptoms, I bought some over the counter cold and sinus medication at a cost of about $7. I also purchased some saline nose spray at a cost of about $5.

So, when it’s all added up, the “deal of the century” has cost me about $85 and a lot of physical misery.

I guess there is no such thing as a risk-free hobby. In the meantime, I’ll pray I don’t become the first man killed by a rare Elvis record.

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