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the magical world of airsickness bags

Welcome. This is what my wife calls "a bunch of stupid jokes and pictures of paper bags." She's right about the jokes. She's wrong about the bags: some of them are plastic.

What the critics say: "Utterly unnotable" (Wikipedia editor). "Ridiculous collections #4" (Buzzfeed). Other comments: "As complete wastes of time go, it's a very high quality complete waste of time... An entirely dispensable source of inane comments about a truly trivial subject... A monument to the planet's worst corporate design... An unwelcome reminder of some of the more unpleasant moments in our lives."

Donations (unused, please) of bags not represented in the bag gallery are welcomed -- please mail to this address, and I'll credit you on this site! I am happy to trade any extras that I have. Check out the links to other bag sites, find out how you can use your spare bags, and explore the fascinating world of bag manufacturers

Highlights: The design features page reveals the secrets of professional baggery, and the logos page analyses the enigma of airline corporate identities. Search for your favourite bag, browse the bag gallery by country and airline, and check out the biggest, best and worst bags!


A baggist's gotta do what a baggist's gotta do

"Bob Grove and I were at the Los Angeles airline collectible show last week-end", says hard-ridin', hard-drinkin' baggist Bruce Kelly.

"We scored a few bags and got a few more after a brief excursion to the Tijuana airport. Here we are standing next to John Wayne, well his statute at least at the John Wayne International Airport in Orange County between San Diego and Los Angeles."

Our photo shows a bronze Duke peeing into a trio of Bruce's newly won bags: First Choice, Egyptair and Indian Airlines. Hardly worth a trip to LAX from Bruce's home in Alaska, but maybe he was trying to avoid the January snows.

Bruce also visited the Grove ranch: "I can say that I have observed Bob Grove's very tastefully done home decor with dominant barf bag themes", he says. "He has some very rare bags indeed and it is a joy to see them proudly displayed. Unfortunately my wife will not allow such a decor in our home."

Forensic science reveals that Bob is proudly clutching a Gulf Air, plus two other bags I can't identify.

To misquote The Duke: “A bag is a bag, it ain't make a difference what color it is.”

Thanks to Bruce Kelly for (some of) this item.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 

Niek nears mile-high

The 2008 Guinness World Records book doesn't mention barfbags.

Nor does the Guinness website.

But try typing "sick bags" into Guinness's search box, and up pops a picture of our very own Niek Vermeulen, sporting a Guinness sweatshirt and his trademark "barf bags wanted" baseball cap.

According to Guinness, Niek's collection boasts 5180 bags from 1003 airlines, and he has held the world record since 1970.

Mile-high? Not quite: there are 5280 feet in a mile. Niek should let us know when he hits the magic number so we can induct him into the Mile High Club.

Saturday, January 05, 2008 

Bagsite of the month, January 2008

Kicking off the new year in this illustrious series of featured bagsites is Italian collector Guido Debenedetti's website, "Zio Guido's bags".

Reasons to visit this site? Well, click on the "Some of my bags" link to see Finnaviation's famous barfing reindeer, Jaromir Kral's cartoon bag, and the unique Air Cannaba bag, which presumably you can get only if you are on a trip.

Guido lists 362 bags in his collection, but apart from the sample in the "Some of my bags" link, there are no scans. You can drown your disappointment by turning on the sound on your computer and listening to the background music, which my wife assures me is from a 1970s Tony Curtis movie.

The real reason to check out this site, though, is to admire the Pinnochio Airlines postcard (pictured on the left). Guido says he will send you one if you ask him.

I don't know if Guido is still collecting - has anyone been in touch with him recently?

Saturday, January 05, 2008 

Boston Globe short of news

The Boston Globe featured Steve Silberberg and his bag collection on 3 January 2007.

"Steven J. Silberberg is a Hull resident with an interesting hobby: He collects air-sickness bags," this article starts off.

The writing does get better, though. It had to, to compete with stories like "Look younger with these 10 tips" and "Changing the script on teen pregnancy".

The Globe goes on to reveal that bags are the key to Steve's heart.

"I've found it's a really good litmus test that shows if I will get along with somebody," the article quotes him.

Other thrilling details: "He keeps his air-sickness bags in plastic sheets and stores them in three-ring binders," and "His bag-collecting hit a zenith during the late 1990s, when he started finding other sickness bag enthusiasts on the Internet."

Yes, folks: keep reading, and you can help keep Steve on that pinnacle.

Friday, January 04, 2008 


What do Latvia, Liberia and Lesotho have in common? Yes, they all start with an L. What else? They're all missing from my barfbag collection.

What's the biggest country not represented? Chad. In terms of population? Burkina Faso. Other prominent absentees (coloured red in the map): Georgia and Rwanda. 

Major underrepresented portions of the globe are a swathe of Africa and chunks of Central Asia and Central America.

Donations from these areas especially welcome!

Centres of megabagdiversity are the USA (though many US bags are distressingly plain), China, the UK, Canada, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia. 

Click here for details.

For new baggists only


New to the world of bag collecting? Want to get a head start on your collection? Then send me an email, and I'll send you a randomly selected free starter pack from my surplus bag stock. There won't be anything rare, and you may end up with some duplicates, but at least you'll be able to show your friends a few more of these lovely cultural artefacts. Make sure you include your mailing address in your email. Offer good as long as stocks last.

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