And the more I pondered the sticker, the more I realized that when you talk about ephemera, this has got to be one of the most ephemeral objects one can find!
Aside from me and other artists, I would venture to say that 99.9999% of people would never keep these things. First of all, they're really sticky! And the longer the sticker is kept, apparently, the stickier it gets (I found that out this morning as I was rearranging the stickers on the plastic for the photo).
Now we're touching on why I love them so much - because they're ubiquitous but completely disposable. I would imagine junk mail stays around longer in people's homes than fruit stickers! Think about it - you have to make a concerted effort to keep these things, especially on fruit where the skin or peel is inedible, like bananas. If you're eating watermelon or cantloupe or citrus, you're just going to leave the label right on the fruit and there it'll stay even after it's thrown away. Apples, plums and tomatoes are probably even more bothersome to most people because you have to remove the stickers before you eat the fruit.
If you're wondering what's underneath all of the real stickers, well, that's just the coolest calendar I ever had. A Japanese design team named Argyle Street Tea Room came up with the idea of using fruit labels as a calendar (it's the jewel case type - if you're interested they are still making them, at least for 2010).
And of course, I love using them in my art! Here are some ATCs I've done using these simple little gems: