The Weird Hobby Hall of Fame
We asked you to tell us all about your unusual hobbies—those wacky pursuits that get funny looks every time you mention them. Some of you hobbyists are pretty odd, all right, but only five achieved that pinnacle of eccentricity: a place in the official Campus Life Weird Hobby Hall of Fame. Enjoy the tour!
Duct Tape Artist
Melody Williams, 17
Greers Ferry, Arkansas
As you can see, Melody's hobby is duct tape art. Her creations include shoes, clothes, jewelry, cards and sculptures—even a model of Shakespeare's Globe theater (which later became a home for her pet turtle, Shelley).
Most people aren't quite sure what to make of Melody's fascination with duct tape. "They laugh and mock me," she says, "but they always come to me when they need an adhesive."
Laughter isn't the only difficulty Melody encounters while pursuing her hobby. "Duct tape is very sticky," she says. "When I was making my skirt, I had a lot of problems with it sticking to itself in places it wasn't supposed to. Also, wearing duct tape is slightly uncomfortable. It's stiff and doesn't breathe very well."
Not that any of these drawbacks have diminished her love for the "handyman's friend." She's even written a song about it:
I have to say that my world is gray,
not because of compromises made
or morals in the shade,
but because of a sticky tape
and the way it takes shape.
There are so many uses
and not many abuses
of this great sticky mess
the component of my dress …
Ode to duct tape, my best friend;
Ode to duct tape,
may the gray never end.
Zach Duke, 19
"Have you ever dreamed of having one thing in your life that you could say you made? Well, if so, this is the hobby to get into. All you need is an imagination, some old junk, and a creative outlook. This hobby is completely original. No one's junk is the same!"
Zach is referring to his hobby of making picture frames, clocks and little storage boxes out of odd items (a.k.a. "junk"). He's used materials ranging from CD cases to license plates to an old snare drum. What surprises him about his creations isn't just how well they turn out—he can't believe that people want to pay for them.
"When I made the storage boxes," he says, "a few of my friends offered me money for them. Then when I made the clock, people offered to buy that, too. I was amazed that my small ideas to create something a little out-of-the-ordinary would receive so much attention."
Brittany Miller, 21
Collecting stuffed animals isn't that uncommon a hobby. But collecting skunks is something else. "I have never met another person who even likes skunks—much less collects them," Brittany says.
Because there aren't too many collectors with Brittany's taste, the toys can be pretty tough to locate. "You can find plenty of miniature dogs, stuffed bunnies and model horses, but skunks aren't as common," she says. "It seems, though, that there are starting to be more and more. Since I buy one every time I see one, skunk producers are probably starting to think they're a hot item!" Which is fine with her, as long as skunk supply continues to exceed skunk demand. "If everyone collected skunks, my hobby wouldn't seem as special to me," she says. "And besides, if everyone took up my hobby, there would be fewer skunks out there for me to collect!"