It all started when we moved to Europe, where the possibility of seeing moose was much greater, and when we lived in Germany, where the population is allegedly mad for moose, it was cemented. The Swedes accuse the Germans of driving up to Sweden for summer vacations and stealing the moose crossing signs that are to be found on nearly every stretch of country road. I had a stuffed moose, my first, at some point that I bought on a choir trip, and it engendered a great deal of hilarity and several moose kidnappings with ransom notes (we have your moose and it is loose) were perpetrated.
I've never really made a habit out of collecting moose memorabilia, they just seem to gravitate to me. They're such silly, solemn creatures, moose. I liked them before liking moose was cool, before collecting moose became cornball or common, like pigs and black-and-white cows. For my 17th birthday, all my presents were wrapped in brown "chocolate moose" paper, and my Christmas cards for several years in a row wished friends A Merry Christmoose. :)
One of my very favorite sweaters that I bought after college was a rich kelly green with black bands around the wrist and waist and a full-size black silhouette of a moose on the front. It sounds awful but I assure you it was VERY stylish. :P After college, I lived for awhile in an apartment with a fireplace and I was SO happy because I had a place to hang my velour-plush stuffed moosehead. He's sadly been relegated to the attic since long ago.
After I met Anders, I found out that Swedes consider the fascination with moose to be a very strange thing. This is probably because car accidents involving moose are a staggeringly high statistic in a country of only 9 million people. You do NOT want to run into a moose with a car, because the car almost always loses. Moose are the king of the forest in Sweden; with a population of 250,000 spread from the north to the southern regions, Sweden has the highest density of moose in the world.
I have a lot of moose collectibles, although they are not obtrusive (much like the real thing) and tend to fade into the background, unlike pigs or black-and-white cows would. When we moved to Sweden, Anders and I decided to relegate the majority of them to our guest bedroom, where they live in a happy herd. But a few intrepid souls have crept out to take up residence in the kitchen and various other parts of the house.
I've told family and friends to please NOT buy me any more moose, since I think my collection will quickly be unmanageable, but they still tend to sneak in on occasion. My brother gave me towels and a bathroom mat decorated with moose last year, and my sister gave me a ceramic moose toiletbrush holder, so you can see that there are no limits to the moose madness. Once you know someone collects something or has a collection of something, it's hard to stop yourself from using it as a motif for every gift and occasion. And I have to admit it's kind of fun seeing Anders get that look on his face each time a new moose pops up.