You've probably seen them in classrooms, offices, and homes - they're clay pots, about 5 inches tall, glazed in various hues of blue with a big cork stopper. They feature phrases like "Ashes of Problem Students", "Retirement Fund", and "Lottery Tickets" in a round unglazed patch on the front. They are most often given as gifts (do people buy themselves clay pots with "Ashes of... Old Lovers/Past Bosses/Problem Patients/Obnoxious Children"? Maybe, but I'm guessing not too often) and displayed because they were given as gifts.

These dust collectors are available in gift stores everywhere, and online at crafts outlets like Davlins Woods, which carries a line of "cleverly labeled" ceramics produced by The Potters of Iowa. T&L Stuff, a site that carries products like antenna balls and NASCAR memorabilia, calls these "nonsense jars" and "verbal banks"; their versions are "hand crafted by talented California Artisans" and feature phrases like "Diet Cookie Jar" and "Poker Money".


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