Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cold Turkey: A 30-Day Experiment

Stephanie and I just watched the first episode of Morgan Spurlock’s, 30 Days. It’s similar to what he did in Super Size Me, but instead of eating McDonald’s, Spurlock spends an entire month on minimum wage. This got me thinking about how much money I spend on collectibles each month while others in the country struggle to put food on the table. I sometimes complain about the fact that I can’t afford all the comics and books I want, but when you realize that others can’t even afford healthcare or clothes, it all comes into perspective.

I began to think about my habits and what they cost, so I did a little research and discovered that I’ve spent over $3,100 on collectibles since November 1, 2005. And that number factors in how much money I’ve made selling collectibles, so in reality I’ve spent another $500 or more.

As I sat pondering all of this, one thing led to another and I began wondering if I could go an entire month without buying a single collectible. No comics. No books. No football cards. Nothing. Cold turkey for 30 days. Before I even had a chance to think it through, I had made up my mind.

“I’m gonna see if I can go 30 days without buying a single collectible,” I told Stephanie this morning.

“Are you serious?” she asked, obviously doubting my ability to do such a thing. She thought I was joking so she laughed when she said, “I assume you’ll wait until after San Diego?”

“Of course,” I said. “I’m crazy, not stupid. That would ruin the trip.”

By now she noticed that this idea wasn’t just some crazy scheme. I was serious. “You’re not going to buy anything for a month?”


“How? You can’t even go a week without buying something.”

“I just won’t get on eBay or look at other sites. Piece a cake,” I said, showing my confidence. “Hell, maybe this will give me a chance to actually read all the stuff I already have.”

“I bet you don’t make it that long,” she said, wanting to support me but having a hard time believing I could do it.

“Sure I can.”

“Okay, if you go a whole month, I’ll buy you your next collectible,” she said, throwing down the gauntlet.

“Any collectible?” I said, already imagining the original art or expensive box of football cards I could get from this deal.

“Well, anything for 25 bucks.”

“Twenty-five? That’s nothing. That won’t get me anything.”

“I know, you've probably spent $25 already today and it’s not even 10 o’clock,” she said, walking off to do the budget. “But that’s the deal. Take it or leave it.”

Of course I took it. I was going to try this with or without this side bet. So it’s on. Starting August 1, I’m going cold turkey for 30 days. That means no books, comics, or football cards. It means I can’t pay for any auctions I might’ve won at the end of July. It also means no pre-orders. I also can’t bid on any auction, even if the end date is one that’d allow me to pay after the 30 days are over. Nope, for me, cold turkey is cold turkey.

And of course, I’ll be writing my daily journal here for all to see. Yep, you’re invited to a front row seat as this compulsive collector goes without for an entire month. Let the madness begin…


Chris Partin said...

Good luck, James. This should be fun to watch. :)

Anonymous said...


I've been reading your blog for sometime now and while I wish you the best of luck, I will also say that you wont last the 30 days. One week tops...and I'm being very generous here.

But hey, I want you to prove me wrong.

James W. Powell said...

Hahaha. Oh, so many doubters. It'll be hard, but if I can't do it, what does it say about me and my habits? If I can't find something better to do with my time and money for one month, I'm in trouble.

Rich said...

Got to say, I can't see you lasting a full month either.

I'm sorry to doubt you, I just know how hard it can be...

Good luck!

James W. Powell said...

Geesh, thanks Rich. Maybe I should start taking bets here.