Coin collecting, a wonderful hobby that turns kids into wide-eyed zombies! For all eternity!
Coin collecting is a great hobby, one that’s perfect for youngsters. All you need to get them started is a pocketful of loose change, with maybe a wheat penny, a Mercury dime and a buffalo nickel thrown into the mix to spice things up — and then they’re off. I had a coin collection way back when, and I remember it quite fondly, especially one Christmas when a got a little tin box filled with currency from around the world. Sure every denomination in there was probably in a strict sense worth less than its face value, but taken together it was all more than the sum of its parts. A boy hasn’t lived until he’s held a weird dime-shaped thing with strange letters and a hole in the middle — and to this day, every wandering foreign coin that gets dropped into my palm at the grocery store, Chipotle or whatever gets stuffed into a box in my desk. For old time’s sake.
But I was never ever as excited as those kids you see up there. Coin collecting was apparently a potent enough force to freeze their awed visages for all time.
The black and white ad you see above was found in a comic published in the early 1960s. And at the end of that same decade, the ad was rejiggered with a little bit of color:
The coins change, but the kids stay the same, their faces locked in vacant devotion you don’t normally see outside of cults. Or Mario gazing at a naked young boy in a bathtub, take your pick. So go into numismatism with your eyes wide open, that’s all I’m saying. Wide, wide open.