January 13, 2011


What do you generally do with these – bus tickets, movie tickets (any ticket, in fact), receipts, bills, ATM receipts? Those small pieces of paper that are ‘useless’. Chances are:

  • Bus tickets – You won’t even wait for the conductor to hand it to you. And even if he did, you just toss them aside, or crumple them and throw them out the window, or what’s more often seen – just leave it in the bus and it’ll be floating/flying like confetti.
  • Movie tickets - You save it till the end of the show. Once the movie is done, you throw them there for the sweepers to clean.
  • Receipts/Bills – You absent-mindedly take them from the cashier and stuff it somewhere in the shopping bags or in your purse. If you do keep it carefully it’s because – you need it as proof for reimbursement; it’s a ‘group purchase’ and you need to settle the ‘accounts’; if you did a debit/credit card purchase you keep it for a while to ensure that the transaction was error-free.
  • ATM Receipts – You look at the Balance, heave a sigh and toss it (after crumpling/tearing) in the basket provided. Some just don’t bother with the basket or the crumpling.
Now, what do I do? 

I collect (or save) them.

No, no…it’s not a new kind of hobby that I’m pursuing (I’m not that looney).

I do it because it comes in handy!

I have recently acquired the habit of chewing Orbit, so it helps me dispose the gum (and not resort to disgusting means like sticking it under a table or tossing it on the road - only to find its way beneath someone’s footwear).

I have many a times used neatly folded bills as bookmarks (even to note page numbers of interesting passages.)

It serves as that elusive piece of paper you so desperately need when you want to jot something down (quick!)

I have used them for making shopping lists.

Sometimes they serve a cleaning purpose too – you want to wipe something (seats in a train, for example) or remove dirt from your shoe.

And often you suddenly realize that you want to contact a shop/eatery to know something, and the bill is the only thing that eventually comes handy.

So you see, nothing is really useless.
If you think about it, I’m sure you’ll find more uses for these small bits of paper!


Prasanna Venkatesh said...

I keep them to collect the vibudhi or sacred ash whenever i visit a temple, so that i can bring it home to my family :) Also it has come in handing for jotting down addresses and doing small sums or tracing routes from one destination to another :D

Vijitha said...

Ah! That's what my mom uses it for (sacred ash)! :-D

Doing small sums - I do that sometimes too. :-)

Matangi Mawley said...

:-) interesting....

i used to collect bus tickets when i was a kid.. used to play 'conductor' :)

i have too much trash here.... i never throw anything away... but dont use them either... your post is very positive! :) need to work on it... see what can be done...

Vijitha said...

Conductor - My cousins and I used to pass strips of newspaper/waste paper through the sewing machine to get the kind we can tear easily. In fact, my sister actually got her finger poked by the needle in the process! A visit to the doctor and tetanus shot later, we were 'wiser'. ;-D

Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you like the post. :-)

Sameera said...

Two lines into the post I thought you are going to talk about how people should safely dispose off these papers in the dustbins. :D I felt proud of myself and my friends who carry any kind of trash back home if required to dispose it off in the right manner.

Hmm.. I agree when you say it comes handy. I remember as a kid I was at times assigned the job of cleaning my mom's purse and I would lift up a paper and she would shout.. NOOOOOO there is number sribbled on it. Lol!!

Loved the post. Such a silly simple thing.. but how it becomes highly important.

Purba said...

Airline tickets make good bookmarks. And chewing gum getting stuck under your shoe or worse hem of your dress is very very irksome.

Thank God someone is doing things right.

Harish P I said...

Jotting down phone nos and email ids is a perfect use for tickets. I do it all the time :)

Vijitha said...

@ Sam - Thanks! Even my mom does that. Scribbling stuff on bills, collecting 'em...and shrieking when I'm cleaning out the place. :-D

@ Purba - True. :-)

@ Harish - Exactly.

Spaceman Spiff said...

Ha! This post screams 'Virgo' all the way. :D
Even I use bills and train tickets as bookmarks, and some of those seemingly useless pieces of paper can come in handy when you're caught tissue-less.
I thought I was the only weirdo-hoarder of crap. :) Glad to meet a fellow-hoarder.

Vijitha said...

@ Divya - De taali! :-D