((Excerpt from, "The Art of Everyday Joe: A Collector's Journal"))

Does anyone need any bubblewrap?  If so, don't go out and buy any.  I've got plenty!

Every time I open the closet door in my kitchen or den upstairs, it comes falling out from the top shelf.  Somehow, I forget it's all in there.  It's like a tired, old comedy routine.  I know, I know.  Why don't I just throw it away?  I don't know.  It must be the art collector in me.  More like the pack rat in me.  I just feel that one day I'm going to need this bubblewrap for SOMETHING.

Of course, you know how I get it.  It's what all of the hip artists use to cushion their work (my latest acquisitions) in boxes they ship out.  I've just finished opening one from New Orleans artist Edmonde Lacoste and sure enough, plain as day, there it is ... bubblewrap.

Do you think the inventor of bubblewrap is rich?  I bet he (or she) is.  I also bet he (or she) was a nerd in school.  You know, very thin, with thick glasses and braces on their teeth that you could spot way off in the distant hallway.  He (or she) probably ate lunch alone and was mocked by laughing classmates.  Kids can be so cruel.  He (or she) probably also spent a lot of time picking books up off the floor because those meanies were always knocking them out of his (or her) hands.  This kid definitely had self-esteem issues.  I bet one day he/she took one hit too many and quietly uttered, "I'll show you!  I'm going to invent ... (what?) ... bubblewrap!  We'll see who'll be laughing then!" 

The rest is history.  I guess.  

Anyway, just think of all of the things that you can do with bubblewrap!  You can wrap fragile things in it before shipping or storing, you can ... well ... trust me, you can do a lot with it!  Oh, you can pop it!

Okay, I gotta say this.  There's this episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David's show on HBO, where he gets this bubblewrap and he gets addicted to walking on it and popping it all the time.  That cracks me up, because that's me.  Is it you too?

There have been times when I've opened packages, and forgotten about the abandoned bubblewrap on the floor.  Nothing can shock the crap out of you like accidentally walking on bubblewrap!  Yet, can anyone resist popping that stuff?  Did you know that there's a website totally devoted to popping virtual bubblewrap?  I guess as adults, we can rationalize this activity by calling it "stress release."

When I was a kid, I LOVED Rice Crispies.  You know, the whole "snap, crackle, pop" thing.  Come to think of it, I haven't had Rice Crispies in YEARS.  Maybe that's why I'm "addicted" to bubblewrap (the first step is admitting you have a problem).  Once again, it all goes back to some unresolved childhood issue.

Funny, because I don't like popcorn as much as bubblewrap.  I mean the styrofoam popcorn used for packing ... not the kind you eat.  I LOVE edible popcorn.  Who doesn't?  But have you ever dealt with that styrofoam popcorn stuff?  It's a pain in the ass!  One time, I got a painting delivered that wasn't mine and I opened it by mistake.  Why did I do that?!  As I lifted the painting from the tall box, I realized something was wrong because I didn't recognize it (it wasn't wrapped in bubblewrap so I saw it immediately).  Well, at that point, practically all of the popcorn styrofoam came flying with it out of the box.  You forget that there's so much in there.  I had to sweep it all back up and put it back in the box.  Time consuming. Hundreds of pieces, some of which have that whole static electricity problem, so you have to fight to get them off your hands and clothing.  Pain in the ass.

I bet the guy (a woman would never invent something so ridiculous) who invented popcorn styrofoam was some football hero with gleaming white teeth who got all of the girls and was kind of a jerk.  (Fun with stereotypes!)  He's still jerking us around with that crappy popcorn styrofoam! 

I think I'll stick with my tried and true bubblewrap.  It cushions, it snaps, crackles and pops, it provides endless entertainment ... even for folks with addictive personalities.  Oh well.

Bubblewrap.  It's one of the world's great inventions.  Art is greatly indebted.

Now ... where did I put that extra stash?  It’s around here somewhere …

"POP! POP! POP! POP! POP!  Oops!



Lost On The Way To The Mint