On a random patrol for craft goods, K and I came across a trade center in the far off zone many stoplights of traffic agony from our usual sector. We landed and investigated the internal quadrants of the trade center and found ourselves the usual assortment of goods you find at craft stores.

But this time, we came across something a little different. The lanes of sticker fields were a little more varied than usual, but that’s not unusual in a trade center off the beaten track. I find one or two sticker sets that step outside the norm all the time on ventures like these.

No, what K found on a sensor sweep beggared description. Hanging on a discount rack on the far side of the lanes, in a tiny, easy to miss area, was a series of packets. No price, but the label said, in so many words, eighty-five dollars worth of stickers, a true value.

We each got one, and continued our search, K for knitting stuff and me for other items. I came across a stand of sticker books which I’d never seen before. A whole bunch of stickers in the fields I’ve been trying for years to close up my collection in!

Back home at command central, we looked over our assortment of booty and marveled. The lane stickers were good. The booklets off the stand I found a nice completion find. That enough makes it worth while. But when we opened our bargain sticker packets, which ended up being ten dollars each, our eyes bugged out.

Basically, we were looking at packets of stickers that hadn’t sold well, or couldn’t be returned, and were put together in a value pack for easy selling. Dozens of the finest stickers, many of a kind I’d never seen before, and I’m pretty familiar with the Sandy Lion and Mrs. Grossman lines. Both of us got about 60% of the same stickers, but the other 40% were different.

In effect, we’d gotten a real smörgåsbord of stickers. Probably about fifty sheets, or a hundred dollars worth for ten, which tells you how marked up these puppies are. We’re kicking ourselves for not getting the other three packets. But that’s how it is when you score a secret Sticker Stasher stash. You never know when it’s going to be the mother lode, and chances are if you miss the full tractor beam haul, it won’t be there when you head back for a repeat performance.

K and I are just glad we manage to get our claws on some of the treasure. But the Sticker Stasher strides along his merry way, stashing stickers and eluding the pursuit of those meddling kids!