Wednesday, May 4, 2011

a quandary

Dear readers, I have an issue that I would like your opinion on.

As I am sure you can tell from my posts, I live in a city.  And a pretty dirty one at that.  There are numerous opportunities to rescue poor, helpless bottle caps that have been tossed aside on the road, the sidewalk, and in the dirt of trees and bushes along the street. I understand this can sound gross. Who wants to pick these things off the road where animals (and possibly homeless people) have done their business? What is the proper protocol?

I ask because there are opportunities to get bottle caps that I would never in my right mind purchase with the intent of drinking the contents of the bottle. Drinks like Bartles & Jaymes. Olde English. India Malta. Freez.  Budweiser. Bizarre, gross or unappetizing beverages that just happen to find their way into my walking path. What is too much? And when is it more useful to just pick them up and forgo drinking something that I know will just be nasty? I don't want to drink any more Malta. And I don't really want to trade for them. So if, in my wandering through the streets of NYC, I find a Malta cap that I don't already have, is it OK or bordering on crazy to pick it up?

Should I get my head out of the gutter?  Should I carry around a Ziploc bag and/or plastic gloves? Should I simply trade for them on the interwebs? How far is TOO far?


  1. Ohh man, i would totally pick those up. Ive gotten a lot of tasty looking caps for not so tasty brews that way. Just take 'em home and give them a rinse. I know exactly what ya mean about the errr feeling of picking hem up, heh. Cheers!

  2. Thanks Patrick! It makes me feel better about scanning the streets for orphan bottle caps!

  3. While these days it would be very seldom for me to find a new cap on the ground, I agree with Patrick, pick 'em up.

    When I was in Berlin last June there were crown caps all over the Since public drinking is legal in Germany. The streets were littered with hundreds of bottle caps. Even though I don't collect foreign crowns,I got my fair share by picking up others peoples' "trash".

  4. Go ahead and pick them up. You would be doing a service to the community and expanding your collection at the same time. A "Win, Win" situation.

  5. I'm also with Patrick. Pick them up, make the streets cleaner and ENJOY!!!!!

  6. Statistically, those caps are way less bacteria-ridden than most doorknobs. Hope that makes you feel better.

    I have a friend who makes bottle cap art, and for a while I was always doing this. Suggestion: have some type of bag or something to keep them in. In addition to whatever dirt you may not want in your pockets, the jagged edges can destroy fabric and fingers alike.

    Clearly, though, if you're worried about appearing "normal," we may not be the people to poll. ;-)