What’s in Your Wallet?

Early this afternoon, Eric IMed me, saying cryptically, “I have too many cards.” Turns out he was talking about wallet pollution, a plague with which any college-age guy ought to be intimately familiar. Of course, I was thus inspired to take a look through my own wallet, whereupon I discovered the following:

  • two no-cover passes to Scorekeeper’s in Ann Arbor
  • a coupon for two free drinks and a popcorn at the movie theatre
  • my credit card
  • my ATM card
  • my library card
  • my car/motorcycle insurance card
  • frequent-customer cards from Qdoba, the movie theatre, Einstein Brothers’, Subway, Klein’s, and Zingerman’s
  • my temporary United frequent-flier card, which I still have nearly four years later because United never sent me a “real” card
  • my driver’s licence
  • the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • a ticket to the Homecoming dance from my freshman year in college
  • a fortune from a fortune cookie of about the same age that reads, “From now on your kindness will lead you to success.”
  • a piece of orange paper on which I’ve written the last stanza of Robert Frost’s poem Two Tramps in Mudtime
  • my voter registration card, which I intend to utilise fully in another seven-and-a-half months
  • my two college ID cards
  • my current health insurance card
  • an expired health insurance card
  • a very old American Chemical Society student membership card
  • a year-old motorcycle insurance card
  • a “Rocker Club” membership card from a local radio station
  • my FAA first-class medical certificate
  • two $10s and a $20
  • a check for $13.80 for my jury duty last week

The wallet pollution wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be, although my wallet has gained very little over the last 18 months, and I gave it a pretty thorough cleaning before I moved up to Ann Arbor. The only three things I tossed were the expired health insurance card, the expired motorcycle insurance card, and the ACS student membership card. But the whole experience got me to thinking: as Capital One asks, “What’s in your wallet?”

posted by Chris on 26 March 2004 at 0252 in general


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Comment by Raena Armitage

Well, after my wallet got stolen, I lost many years’ built-up wallet cruft. I still mourn for my carefully hoarded collection of stuff. I kept all kinds of neat shit in there.

Anyways, here’s what’s in my wallet now:
- diverse receipts, including taxi, ATM and eft. Some of them have cheap pizza vouchers on the back!
- three casino chips I’m saving for Bryan Chaffin at the Mac Observer - just need one more and I’ll be able to post them to him. w00tah.
- a Pictionary sticker from the last time I went to McDonald’s, for free fries
- Hudsons Coffee card
- blended Visa/debit card
- four bus tickets (expired)
- $15 in paper money (well, polymer). The $5 is the old one with her Maj on it!
- $5.70 in coins
- chemist’s loyalty card
- Medicare card
- my dentist’s business card
- 12 of my business cards


posted at 0252 on 26 March 2004

Comment by Lee Bennett

I was gonna say you should get rid of some stuff, but i have a fair bit, myself.

- Bank of America Visa/Debit card
- Bank of America Visa
- Citibank Mastercard (soon to be terminated)
- Bank One Visa (soon to be terminated)
(fyi—these two cards will be replaced by an AmEx Blue)
- Kinko’s Copies corporate card
- Sprint Foncard that may or may not still be good
- Sears card that I think has expired
- Healthcare card
- Prescription card
- a bookstore “10 purchases, 25% off next purchase” card
- Eckerd photo center corporate card
- Publix check authorization card
- 9-year-old Malibu Grand Prix license
- driver license
- an old NationsBank card with the automated phone service number
- even older bank card with pertinent account numbers
- auto insurance card
- home land line voice mail instruction card
- social security card
- selective service card (why do i still have this?)
- a photo of my brother and me (probably 12+ years old)
- a photo of my family (probably 12+ years old)
- a credential card related to my work
- the expired credential card that i’m pulling out to throw away right now
- an expired disney world season pass i’m also pulling out right now
- a wallet-sized, laminated copy of my college diploma
- blockbuster video card
- hollywood video card
- two $20 bills (generally, $40 or $50 goes from the ATM to my wallet each time i visit)
- spare car key

posted at 0252 on 26 March 2004

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