If you live any where near the PNW (Pacific North West) you see all sorts of vehicles with a top case. I mean, literally, from motorcycles to RV’s and all vehicles in between. You know, that thing that goes on the roof? Designed to carry that which cannot fit into the vehicle itself? That which houses those things that may need special care or consideration? Yes, that. They are hella popular around here. I suppose it is because most of us spend time outdoors, engaged in recreation of one sort or another. These storage cases help with the necessary or extra gear. Then there are the stickers. You adorn your top case with representations of the things you love, the things you have done, and the places you visited to do those things. These are badges of honor, expressions of yourself, visual indicators of common interests. You tell your story for the world to see. This story is housed on your top case.
For the first time in my life I have a top case. I neither needed or considered one before. Now, it is necessary. I have the top case and I intend to sticker the shit out of it. Back up, I rarely sticker anything. The Jeep has two stickers – one from Kimber to warn folks about the gun I carry, and the other a compass outline to represent my journey. That is all and those were a stretch for me. My kegerator is stickered to hell, but it is supposed to be and they are all beer or alcohol related. That is as it should be.
I waited until the top case was properly mounted before I put on the first sticker. It was a sticker telling folks to share the road with motorcycles. One of my true passions. So here I go starting my pilgrimage. I bought a couple stickers, but now I look for free stickers. I started out putting them carefully and in order along the back, thinking I would have a chronological telling of my tale. That idea quickly went to shit. I learned that they are so varied in size and shape that I have chosen to put them where they fit best, or where I feel like at the time, or where I can reach. Also, I am already starting to see some falling apart. Clearly, all of the stickers from all of my places will not make the entire journey. Too bad for them. I will replace that sticker at some point I am sure.
I also have a rating system for these stickers. The place, business or thing I am representing with a sticker has to make the cut. It has to be top case worthy. Here is how it works: Let’s say I got to a town, brewery, distillery, museum, whatever that thing is. I want a sticker for my top case as a memento. I visit someplace and get a sticker. Now I have to decide if that place was WORTHY of top case space. I mean, it is a finite amount of space. There are limitations and considerations. So, the first filter is the quality of the place I visited.
Next is the size of the sticker. Again, space is a consideration. I got a sticker from a brewery and it was a label from their beer. Fair enough, it was free, all good. It was huge! I took some scissors and cut it down to save space. Most of the logo and the name intact. Not quite what they had in mind, but a good compromise. Space is at an all time premium around here so one must be discerning.
OK, now, let’s say that place was not so great. Let’s say I got a free sticker and did not have a good time or did not like the beer or whatever. Clearly, I will not buy a sticker if the place was not awesome. I decide that the free sticker was a nice gesture so I will not throw it away. I did visit the place and may want to remember. Now I have a place I did not like but a free sticker. I decided that I will put those stickers on my travel tote. I have several and doubt I will run out of space. I will commemorate the visit and free sticker gesture, but feel the place not worthy of top case prime real estate. That sticker goes on the tote.
Sometimes I get a magnet and that goes on the inside of my tailgate. I have gotten (nay, stole) a couple coasters and I honestly forgot where I put them. I am sure they will not go far. I mean, where can they really be?? Probably in my glove or center box.
That is all I will collect. Where would I put anything else? But, as soon as I write this, I remember that I did buy a metal sign from a distillery. It slips nicely inside a tote, right alone the side and takes up minimal space. I dropped it off in my storage unit while I was in the area. I am sure I will collect others. I have a love of glassware, but really must resist. Folks want to give me a T-shirt, but honestly, I have no more room for those, either. I am so limited on space that each and every item is subject to strict review and consideration. Not a bad way to do it, no harm in NOT collecting random shit I will not need. This system is born of necessity.
Stickers as memento. Top case worthy. A coaster here and there.