Whatever happened to the barf bag?


As of 2022, Cox’s collection included 374 “impeccably organized bags,” according to a feature about him in Texas Monthly. They were sourced from 70 countries and 136 airlines, and he pocketed many of them himself on his own travels. He originally started acquiring them after spotting a prize postage stamp on a trip to Monaco in the 1970s, realizing he would never amass a collection that would compete on any scale.

“Rather than wade through the giant community of stamp collectors as a tiny guppy, he wanted to lord over a smaller pond,” Texas Monthly wrote. “He just needed an item novel enough for him to emerge as its titan. And he came up with… air sickness bags.”

In recognition of its birthday and the decrease of ‘quality’ barf bags available to collect today, Dramamine is currently selling a collection of ‘This is not a barf bag’ barf bags. In other words, barf bags designed to be repurposed for more joyous pursuits, such as hand puppets, popcorn bags, ice holders and gift bags. The video also shows people using them as wind socks, storage bags and flower vases, among other creative uses.

Hold up, you may be thinking. Are we really pining the loss of a puke receptacle on account of people having less turbulent flights these days?

Evidently, yes. Yes, we are.

“People rarely use them anymore, and they certainly don’t appreciate them,” Kelly wrote. To collectors, he added, “it has always been more than a barf bag. It’s a monument to American ingenuity and problem-solving, and it’s been a wonderful way to meet lifelong friends.”

But don’t worry, we’re not advocating we go back to a world of motion sickness. We’re with Randi Jachino, VP of marketing for Dramamine, who is firm on her stance:

“I’m kinda anti-barf.”



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