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Sunday, 6 June 2010

Panini Odyssey Part 2: Got, Need, Got Got Got Got Got Got, Need...

So I have been pretty lax about my Panini Odyssey, but I'm going to try and update you about my adventures thus far.  I (foolishly) had no idea how expensive collecting these bloody stickers would be.  I started out with a huge level of optimism but the crushing realisation that I may not finish my collection has begun to rear its monstrous head.  One major stumbling block has been the lack of fellow collectors that I know who live in London.  The only people I am aware of that are collecting stickers are a friend in Richmond, someone else in Boston (USA?), and 3 members of the washed up pop group "Swoont?" who live in Derby or the Island of Wight or somewhere like that.  So far I have seen my Richmond contact once and "Swunde:".... once.  I did some swapping each time.  Thanks must go to Paul and Rowan (who, by all accounts, has completed Portugal).  The same evening that I saw Richmond Paul I found a New Zealand player sticker on the pavement outside a less than salubrious West End establishment.  The next day he had disappeared from my personage.  Maybe I dreamt it?  I blame the loss on Israeli crack commandos.

Last week, after a tiring game of five-a-side with some colleagues, Ravi told me that the Department had a feverish Panini trading economy, of which I was clueless to.  When I emailed the ringleader he responded thusly:

"Sorry, I sent off for mine last week".

upon further questioning about other traders he said:

"Again, sorry but everyone else I know who I was trading with sent off for theirs too".

This left me quite disheartened.  For me, sending off to Panini to pay for the stickers that you have yet to acquire goes against the spirit of the whole endeavour!  It also made me question the amount of money one can be expected to spend on the stickers.  Admittedly, it would probably save you spending money on stickers just to get those elusive last few oblongs of glory, but either way they must have been furiously collecting to be at that stage already.  I felt that 12 packs a week was a bit much at times, so goodness knows what these people were shelling out.

If anyone out there in London wants to do some swappage, please give me a shout.  I have quite a wad in my wallet.

In terms of my most hated of players, squads etc. I would have to say that the North Koreans are annoying me quite a lot.  They seem to pop up everywhere and I have so many of them in my swap-stack.  I especially despise Nam Song-Chol who is less than 2 years older than me, yet has the appearance of a haggard prisoner of war:

Nam Song-Chol, No. 512.

I do, however, quite like the name of a major North Korean club team: April 25.  So evocative.  My favourite squad is Honduras.  They are so chirpy looking and I never seem to get any Honduran duplicates.  I also quite like the French squad because of the ethereal glow that surrounds their players.  I have also noticed that my shiny quota seems to have dropped dramatically.  At the start I would get one every other pack but recently I haven't got any in at least 6 packs.  I blame BP.

I leave you with a definitive list of my gots and swapsies:

Got - 4, 5, 14, 25, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 56, 65, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 82, 90, 92, 93, 95, 97, 100, 101, 111, 115, 116, 118, 119 (Angel di Maria - dislike), 122, 123, 126, 127, 128, 130 (Obinna Nwaneri - great portrait), 131, 132, 135, 142, 143, 146, 148, 152, 154, 164, 166, 167 (Vangelis Moras - has the appearance of an Emperor), 169, 173, 179, 182, 186, 188, 190, 192, 194, 197, 198, 204, 209, 211, 213, 218, 219, 225, 226, 228, 232, 233, 235, 238 (Algerian players all seem to have had to choose between 2 haircuts - shaved off or military/Hoxton fin), 244, 246, 247, 255, 260, 261, 264, 272, 281, 283, 286, 292, 303, 304, 313, 318, 320 (Eric Addo - has the appearance of a policeman), 324, 325, 326, 327, 330, 334, 336, 342, 346, 348, 351 (Dutch squad has the best tracksuits), 361, 363, 365, 368, 373, 375, 376, 377, 380, 382, 387, 388, 393, 401, 407 (Paul Alo'o Efoulou - fattest player), 410, 418 (Italian stickers are very elusive), 429, 432, 434, 435, 436, 438, 450, 452, 453, 456, 458, 460, 470, 472, 478, 480, 484, 493, 496, 498, 500, 501, 503, 504, 512 (the aforementioned Nam Song-Chol), 516, 517, 518, 520, 522 (Jong Tae-Se - the "North Korean Rooney"), 523, 524, 525, 528, 532, 534, 535, 536, 538 (Kader Keita - mug shot), 541, 542, 545, 548, 550, 552, 555, 560, 563, 568, 569, 573, 578, 580, 582, 587, 590, 594, 598, 600 (Honduras squad - hooray!), 601, 603, 604, 605, 607, 609, 610, 613, 615, 618, 621, 624 (Waldo Ponce - great name), 630, 633, 635, 636.

Swapsies - 45 x2, 93, 97, 100, 111, 116, 127, 146, 173, 186, 197, 228, 327, 377, 418, 435, 452, 478, 484, 493, 496, 512, 516, 517, 518, 520, 523, 560, 569, 580, 603, 604, 607, 630.

N.B. Rowan's band is in fact called Swound! and you should all check them out.  They have telekinetic powers and can throw tennis balls a long way.


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