Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bumper sticker wisdom

Lately I have noticed some clever bumper stickers. I'm not the type to paste these all over my car anymore. I was at one time. In fact? I used to be a little obnoxious with them. See? I traded cars with my father in law several years ago. The car I received in the trade was a vintage Toyota Tercel wagon. It was the sort of car that SCREAMED in desire of very liberal bumper stickers, so I made sure to oblige. I felt pretty badly when I had to trade back, and he had to drive the car back to rural Eastern Oregon with all of those stickers in place.

At the time, we were all surprised he didn't get shot!

Now though? Totally different story. I prefer to be a bit mysterious these days, and... not actually wear my full agenda on my sleeve or bumper. Shocking, 'non? Although if you were to look at the insides of the rear passenger windows of my current vehicle, you would notice that there is scant bare surface, and stickers everywhere from our many trips to the grocery store. I sort of love this. I know it's fleeting, and those stickers will come off one day; sooner if we get rid of the car in favour of something more fuel efficient, or later if we don't and the kids outgrow their surroundings and want to be able to actually look out the window.

The windows have looked like this for years now. I haven't really thought much of it for all these years, until an old friend I reconnected with from my high school days rode in my car recently and affectionately referred to it as a "kid car". It's true. My car is totally a kid car. Kids are pretty awesome creatures; at least mine are. I don't know about yours. Your kids may be total assholes. Not everyone can be awesome. People are people... just... sayin'.

On top of the stickers, I will admit... the left side of my car? She isn't pretty. See, when we were looking to buy our first home, and had just looked at what is now our rental property and were leaving the scene to go make an offer, Mr. Hed was a wee bit nervous about pulling out of the driveway. There was a lot of traffic going down the street at that point in time, and he just wanted to make a safe getaway. He hadn't realized he was too close to the telephone pole bordering the property, and smacked into it. This damaged the fender, and tore the bumper off. Polystyrene bounced from inside the bumper, and the car looked just... awesome after that.

We did replace the fender, light, and bumper, but while we were at a friend's house one day, we walked out of her home to discover that the car had been sideswiped... on the same exact spot that had been damaged before. About a month later, I pulled up on the door handle, and it broke off in my hand.


I decided that I just wasn't meant to look sexy in this car. It gets me where I want to go, and I firmly believe in the philosophy: "You are not what you own". Therefore, I sometimes cringe when people see this for the first time, but I have also come to terms with it. And while my car may look like crap, it is pretty reliable, and we have taken it many, many places; in fact, we have all over the country. Maybe some day we will buy something better looking, but for now, it's still a fine machine, as far as I'm concerned. So what if it's ugly?

Shut up!

That said, and in keeping with the tone of stickers on cars, rather than the spectacle the left side of my car has become, I have to wonder about some of the stickers adults place on their cars. Some are immediately identifiable, and everyone knows what they are referring to, without having to actually say it, like "Fire The Liar". I see that one all over town still, even though "The Liar" has not been president for a couple years. I like that one, and thought about getting it myself. Another one read: "Yee Haw Is Not Foreign Policy." Have truer words ever been spoken? I think not.

Yesterday, I encountered one that made me judge the driver. And hard. It read: "Kids Need Both Parents." I think steam spewed from my ears and sparks came from my eyes and forehead." I had to think about this. Wha? Seriously? What good is this sticker supposed to do?

Really. What? WHAT? WHAT???

You know what? Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes parents die. Sometimes one parent is so fucked up that he or she should not be around other adults, let alone children. Sometimes daddy leaves his family for his secretary. Is this for him, perhaps? Because that is really the only instance where I see it being effective. The rest of the time, I see it triggering widows, widowers, children of dead parents, children of douchenozzle pig motherfuckers who don't deserve to be in the same room with them, but they still wonder what it was that made Daddy or Mommy reject them, or hit them, or molest them, or, or, or... bah!

Seriously. Play nice, people. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and damn it, you know what? That is fine. Most of us make the best of what we are dealt. There is no way to know what someone else's reality looks like, and placing that sticker on your car just makes you look like an ignorant asshole pigeonfucking piece of shit. I... spit in your general direction. And I am a very mellow person, so that is really saying something.

But... back to the topic of bumper stickers!

I did see another one yesterday that voiced something that I have felt for a very long time. It read: "Those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours."

Wow, that's true. So true. In fact? If I were to put something on my car, it would be that one. Seriously. I don't think anything more needs to be said there. Perfect.

You know what I actually prefer looking at while out and about though? The new leaves that are budding on the trees. I love the flowers that are finally waking up from their wintery hibernation and showing their colours again. I dig nifty old houses and buildings. People. Fashion. The odd blue sky.

That said? I am just not really a bumper sticker person. Doubt I ever really will be.



  1. A friend of mine got a new bumper sticker. It says "Portland: Not for douchebags" :-)

  2. i'm not a huge bumper sticker person either, but i love seeing funny ones. i'm also not crazy about putting my politics out there or political bumper stickers in general, but i saw one the other day and giggled. it said "Don't steal. The government doesn't like competition." i guess i just thought it was clever without being too in your face/too right or left wing.