Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Message is NOT in the Details. It's on the Car, Dude.



Why do people put bumper stickers on their cars?

When my brother was a child he put a Star Wars sticker on the back cover of one of our mother's cook books. A book that I have to this day. The sticker is still there. It would do more damage to the book to remove it than is worth. The same holds true for bumper stickers and cars. Except that cook book probably cost all of twenty dollars in today's market and a car is probably the most expensive investment, second only to owning a home, that an average person can make.

What, fortheloveofgod, is the point? Is it just a show of solidarity for the candidate for president you support? And who cares? Is it worth defacing your property? Do you think Obama is driving around with a John Doe Supports Me sticker on his car? Do you think someone will be persuaded to vote as you do if they're stuck in traffic behind you for long enough to give it some thought?

Random Driver: "Gee, ya know I was leaning heavily towards McCain but now that I've been staring at the ass of this Infiniti for the last twenty minutes I've been convinced otherwise! Praise the sticker!"

And I'm sure they'd never even heard of Obama or McCain until they caught sight of your bumper. "Who is this McCain? THAT'S the other choice? I must Google this McCain when I reach the office"!

Cars have become miniature parade floats what with all of the Support Our Troops ribbons, Breast Cancer ribbons, Your Candidate of Choice stickers, and in Los Angeles during NBA Playoffs: Lakers flags. And also to announce just how many people are in the person's family, plus pets, via the back window stick figure stickers.

[Observational Aside: And people worry about the internet and child predators. People, women mostly, drive around announcing how many children they have and sometimes with names displayed! Hello child molester, please to follow me and my two children into the park and ask for Susie and Patrick by name so you can confuse them enough to think that they might know you since you seem to know them. Abscond with them. Consider it a gift.]

You know which one baffles me the most? Radio station bumper stickers. You know the ones that if you're caught by the station's Sticker Pimps with their sticker on your bumper then you win a free shirt, probably some more bumper stickers and other sundry crap? How much of a cheap bastard do you have to be to defile a fifty thousand dollar car for a free t-shirt? So what if it's 100% cotton. Not. Even. Worth. It.

And so help me God if one of my children get one of those 'My Child Is On The Honor Roll' bumper stickers and expects me to put it on my vehicle because they're just gonna have to get used to their disappointment and the business end of my resolve.


Meet my fourth child. She was a gift from Mr. Farklepants and I'm obsessive about her health and welfare. I stop just short of rubbing her with a cloth diaper every night before bed. The kids are lucky I even let them travel in her at all. Because there was that one time that I caught Girl-Child wiping a boogar on the arm rest and she nearly left that vehicle sans a hand. She'll never do it again; this much I know.

54 comments:

Swirl Girl said...

I will never put a sticker , bumper or otherwise, on or in my car. I don't even like sticker books in the car for that matter.

When I was in college, I had a Datsun B210 with no driver's seat back, 5 speed, moon roof, various and sundry seed pop burns in the seats - named Mario. Mario was loaded with of stickers. My favorite was "Arms are for Embracing".

Lynette said...

The Husband bought my newest car. My only expression of love is a window CLING that says "U.S. Marine Corps".

After all, I'm a Marine Wife, it sticks to the window AND IT COMES RIGHT OFF.. :)

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

Amen to the Observational Aside! My husband thinks I'm paranoid. Thanks for backing me up.

Steph said...

As a proud parent of two honor students (with bumper stickers to prove it!!), my tip? Use a magnet to hang 'em on the fridge. The kids won't care. :D

Nicole said...

1. I agree that political stickers are stupid mainly because they have an expiration date. I still see cars with the Kerry/Edwards stickers and go "Whaaaat? That was so 4 years ago. You need to move on, man." I think political stickers are acceptable if people remove them after the election. That's fair enough.

2. If I drove a luxury vehicle, like a Lexus, I'd probably take as good of care of it as you do and forbid any stickers. I went through a phase as a kid to put stickers on everything, but as I grew up and started respecting my possessions, I also left them free of stickers (and worse - sticker residue eww). My point is if you are going to spend a fortune on a car, you definitely have to respect it. Kudos for doing so.

3. I see those family stick figure stickers all the damn time in this town. I really don't understand the appeal. Your point is really valid - I didn't even consider that. More people need you to smack them down with some common sense. I can help.

4. I have one sticker on my car. It's on the bottom of my rear window and it just says UCLA. I honestly don't have half as much pride as some people at this school, but I figure I earned it and should take a little pride in it. I wear the t-shirts, but it's not really valid til you wear it on your vehicle, right? Hahah.

5. I actually enjoy seeing cars on the road with a million bumper stickers. It's like seeing someone with a million tattoos and piercings. In the end, it's their body and their car and they can do whatever they want with it. More power to them for running with it and not giving a damn what anyone thinks. And that's my two, or rather five, cents.

Amy said...

I completely agree with you. I wouldn't think of putting a bumper sticker on my car.

And because I am a diehard Dallas fan, I do have a small Cowboys helmet on the back window but it's vinyl and can come off easily - so I don't think that counts.

And you know what drives me crazy - those people who allow their children to plaster the back windows with stickers!! And not the vinyl ones either! Are you kidding me??

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

You forgot about the oval stickers people put on their rear windows to boast about where they spend their summer vacations. Is that just an East Coast thing? For example, all the cars with "OBX" on them, which stands for North Carolina Outer Banks, as if going to the Outer Banks for a week totally defines what kind of person the driver of the vehicle is. Yeah, buddy, you and the katrillion other people who vacation there, too.

If I were Obama, I would drive around and look for really bad drivers who continually cut people off, etc., and then I would give them McCain stickers for their cars.

Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

We have a theory in this house that there is a correlation between number of bumper stickers on a car and whether the driver is going to be an a**hat.

Also, those window stickers with an image like a football and words ("Little Cheaters/Greatson/#11")? If you are driving around with that on your car, know that I am totally judging you by what your kid plays.

My favorites though are the ones that say something like "Proud Great-Uncle of a Bozo Junior High Graduate".

Madame Queen said...

Okay, I'm with you on the bumpersticker as far as MY car goes, but I do love to read them. Since I live in a college town, the roads are just swarming with people announcing everything from their pagan status to the political candidate to their dietary preferences. It makes for awesome reading at stop lights. My favorite? "You can't be pro-life and anti-zombie."

1blueshi1 said...

I wish I could say my awesome Dodge Magnum was in the same shape--not that it is defiled with stickers or anything. Just filth. I had to paw through the trunk for close to an hour last night to assemble Zac's school supplies from the various bags and boxes. Let's not even get started on my house. My parents are coming into town today and they insist on staying at a hotel. I'm taking it personally.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

You know what really irritates me are the people with the support ribbon magnets, then turn them sideways so the letters are straight, but the ribbon is wonky...WTH?? You can't read unless it's going perfectly left to right??

Just The Girl said...

I will NEVER put a sticker on my SUV! I hate them they look trashy and like you don't even care. I can't afford to get a new car every year so I really try hard to take care of mine.

hulagirlatheart said...

Yak! Hate bumper stickers. And boogers.

I was on the board of our Child Abuse Center for several years, and one of the things we warned people NOT to do was put those stickers on their cars announcing their children's names.

dorothy said...

I'm guilty of sporting a Lakers sticker on my car. Gotta support the team! But I agree, the flags are obnoxious.

Laura said...

My husband and I love looking for stupid bumper stickers on cars. One of our faves - "I Love Long Nails". ??? How stupid is that? Now the magnets are getting just as bad. I even hate when the dealer ruins the car with their logo or license plate holder.

Auds said...

I abhor bumper stickers in ANY fashion! They are right up there with people who chew with their mouths open.

My first ex-husband stuck a bumper sticker on my '68 Camaro. The next morning he woke up with electrical tape stuck to the nape of his neck where all the baby hairs lived...or used to anyhow. He also had the word "NO" taped across his very hairy chest!

When I say I don't like bumper stickers, I mean it!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I think my post yesterday inspired this one. I think.

merlotmom said...

No bumper stickers here! One, if I love you that much, you'll know it, I don't have to shout it from the bumper. Two, I've got way to much paranoia inside my little body to EVER tell a stranger anything unless I have to (unless of course you read my blog, but then you're not really a stranger anyway, right?)

Katy said...

I wanna get a stick figure family sticker where the Mom is pregnant, in rollers, smoking a crack pipe, Dad looks scruffy & homeless and is holding a paper bag wrapped bottle, boy has tattoos, enough facial piercings to build a car with and a foot long mohawk and daughter looks like a trashy streetwalker.

THAT would be a funny bumper sticker.

scargosun said...

I have 2. They are both those oval ones. One announces that I have been to AXA and the other announces that we have a WOOF. No one has that combo, actually, I've never seen another AXA so my common silver Pilot is easy to find at the mall.

You will NEVER see a political sticker on my car.

smalltownmom said...

I have the honor roll sticker in the back window, otherwise the car is bare. I hate to see political stickers, especially after the election is over.

texasholly said...

I couldn't agree more with you.

I have a serious AVERSION to the ribbon stickers or magnets. THEY are NEVER straight or they are sideways or upside-down or...or...or...OMG. It drives me crazy.

Mr. Farklepants said...

OK, since TF wouldn't go there I will. what about the "memorial" stickers that are suddenly all the rage? You know the ones that have someones name and their birth and death dates.

I am not going to go so far as to mock those who have lost a loved one and want to do something to honor them... but if I die, I don't want my memorial to be the rear window of your car.

A simple white cross planted at the place of my death surrounded by a bunch Jesus candles and stuffed animals will do just fine!

Anonymous said...

My husband got some Obama stickers this year and put them on all our cars. This is the very first time I've driven a car with a bumper sticker, other than my son's car with its "Snakes on a Plane" sticker.

I am certainly an Obama supporter, but I am not really hot on having a sticker. I am always forgetting its there, and wonder about people's impressions.

g at www.doves2day.blogspot.com

Jennifer H said...

Amen. Those family window stickers...

I've never put any kind of bumper sticker on my car. I considered a Sierra Club vinyl window sticker, but couldn't bring myself to do it.

mysecondjournal said...

When I was single and in my early 20's I had 247 million bumper stickers, they were radio staions, political and just funny ones, I also had a Garfield on my back window (suction cups) and a tail of a stuffed animal coming out of my trunk....I want a cool City sticker for the window..a decal that comes off..it shows that you are proud to live in the city..and the husband will NOT have it..no no no no no.. I agree though looking back at it..it's just showing off, that's all it is. Now if I see someone with a bumper sticker I disagree with I target them for road rage..they will think twice about advertising their polotics in front of me.. No, just kidding, kind of.

EatPlayLove said...

My favorites are those that still have for example, Hillary or even Kerry stickers on their cars! LOL!

But I have to admit, a car is just that, a car. I don't share the same type of adoration for my car as you. The girls eat snacks inside, I pick up things from the nursery and throw them in back. We fill it with camping gear. And it does one heck of a job (dirty and all)!

Allie said...

You always make me smile!

Undomestic Diva said...

I don't believe in bumper stickers either, but there's nothing like a good license plate frame: "If you're gonna ride my ass, at least pull my hair."

calicobebop said...

No stickers for me - just those static-electricity thingys that support my alma matter and jet noise. I'm a Pirate and love seeing other Pirates on the road. It gives me a false sense of belonging. Ha!

Live.Love.Eat said...

LOL. Ohmagosh, this was hilarious. Although I would never put a bumper sticker on my 2001 Lexus SUV, I let it get so filthy. And I can't imagine NOT eating in the car sometimes. I should take some tips from you.....

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I put all the "Student of the Month" stickers on the fridge with a magnet. I'm totally with you for the most part.

I do have one of the family window stickers, but it was a gift from the kids and I'm think my 6'2, 190 lb. son can take care of himself.

Texan Mama@WhoPutMeInCharge said...

Okay, first (Amy) I will let my children put stickers on the inside of the car window. If they want. If it means 5 more minutes without screaming, so be it. They also are the ones to clean them off the window. Needless to say they've only done it once. But if they did it again, it's removable so I say, so what? I protect what's permanent: I have seat covers on the seats and mats on the rug. THAT SAID, I have lightened up since our van is parked beside my kids bikes and... you know the rest of the story. The first scratch sent me into cardiac arrest. I stopped getting pissed after the third one. One more thing, I do have a static sticker for a local high school that just opened. They are trying to get enrollment up. I like publicizing, it helps them. And it's just a cling sticker so I can (and do) take it off if I need to.

Mekhismom said...

Now this post is just laugh out load funny. But you do know that many of those "bumper stickers" are actually magnets. They come off with no damage. I still agree with you think that they are cheesy. Removable or not.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

We are also of the non-bumper-sticker set. I've read ONE I've enjoyed and it could have just as easily been on a t-shirt. "Straight, not narrow." I chuckled.

Minnesota Matron said...

That is a gorgeous child, honey! The Matron concurs on the bumper sticker thing and went her entire life, until last year, without any marker on her anonymous automobile. Then she got so darn sick of people dying (and not just 'the' war) that she bought two big magnetic peace signs and slapped them onto our van! But the key thing is - they're removable!

But the bumper sticker that says "What would Buddha do" is not. Oh well. . .

Star said...

Yep you are right. I actually saw a news story about those kids stickers on back with their names. News said that was a HUGE no-no just for the reasons you said. Any wierdo can watch your kid, think they are cute and then find them somewhere and call them by name.

apathetic bliss said...

come on over and see me some time...I've got something for you! xo

AGSoccerMom said...

But I was so hoping that the next president would put a I love agsoccermom bumper sticker on his car I mean limo or plane.

Maura said...

My first thought was, "This reminds me so much of something I recently tweeted: Wondering: Has anyone ever been swayed by license plate preaching?"

I don't mind the occasional bumper sticker - they can be entertaining - but people do go too far with them and leave the political ones on for FAR too long. If you're still flying the Kerry flag, you've got problems.

Would you hate me for the one I'm going to put on in order to cover up a scratch on my bumper?

mommypie said...

I have a beautiful vanity mirror in storage. It was mine as a child and teenager. It has a gigantic blue KFRC Radio bumper sticker permanently adhered to its lower left corner.

There's NO WAY ANY sticker's going on my CAR. Not after the mirror stupidity.

Karen said...

My husband will not allow bumper stickers but we do have some of the magnets. Downs Awareness and Support the Troops (his brother is in Iraq).

Country Mouse City Mouse Indy said...

Ok, I admit it. I have 2 stickers and a license plate frame. In my defense though, one of the stickers is for my business and has actually been beneficial. My faves are the "Pregnant? Need Help?" stickers with a "helpful" number that is actually a direct line to the right to lifers ;)

kmbr said...

In the greater LA metro area, bumper stickers are required so you can identify which car is actually yours in the sea of identical white honda minivans, or basically anything honda/toyota etc. As it is, reading other bumber stickers is a mildly amusing use of stoplight moments. I think the family tree stickers are tmi, but I'm clearly not in a position to judge. I prefer the ones that attempt wit.

I have a KPCC sticker, which actually looks like a fleet vehicle ID number (the first sticker, so I could find my personal beluga at the mall). After the cherry popped on the sticker front, I went nuts and got a peace sign, two apple stickers in the windows (they're white, its matchy) and a rocket that says "science" designed like those ubiquitous jesus fish.

That last one is just to be obnoxious. Some would say the apple stickers are, too.

Hubby is happy I got rid of the car with the ACLU sticker. He thinks I'm less likely to get shot at.

San Diego Momma said...

With you on the bumper stickers and the observational aside. Not so much on the food and drink inside the car. I tried, I really tried, but the Goldfish won.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I am totally with you on this one.

And don't get me started on personalized license plates that no one understands but the driver. GRRRR.

Stacie said...

I am so glad you said that about the bumper stickers regarding children. My neighbor has the kids' school bumper sticker and the dance school they go to AND a pair of ballet shoe stickers with their names on them. What else does a maniac need to know to convince the kids that they know them? Add a lost kitten and they're history. This scares me so much!

Stacie said...

Oh and we did have one sticker on last van...it was a skull and crossbones (we are pirate people) and it said "The beating will continue until moral improves." That was a reminder for my children before they got int he car, not other people. New odyssey last year...NO STICKERS!

Shania said...

I shudder to think of what Ms. Farklepants would make of my rolling garbage heap. Jobsite dirt coating the outside. The detritus of a 5 yr old, along with various mechanical pieces needed for machinery on the inside. Not to mention dog hair from the mastiff that is announced with the oval sticker on the back window. And the magnet on the gascap announcing where my son goes to preschool, which will be removed posthaste after reading the comments.

Texan Mama@WhoPutMeInCharge said...

One other thing I forgot to mention... they've been around forever but I ABSOLUTELY TRULY HATE WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING those stupid Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) cartoon stickers where he's peeing on a Ford logo, or Chevy logo, or Dodge logo, or whatever. Those are RIDICULOUS. And so last decade. Get a new sticker, hillbilly.

Burgh Baby said...

Congrats on the car!

I'm a big fan of the honor roll stickers that have not just the name, but also the name of the school. Hey! Let's just tell the predators exactly where to find the kid! Woohoo! Dumbasses.

Muddlin' Mother said...

Have you seen 'The Ass Family' sticker? Where they are all 'wise ass', 'smart ass' etc,.. I did. On the back of a mini van, and they included their chldren. I can't even believe that my children go to school with the Ass Family children.

And then I saw a truck with a huge foot big sticker that said "It's a Redneck Thang" and a picture of that Calvin kid flippin' a bird with 'Sierra Club, Save This Bird.' Where do these people get drivers' licenses??? Through the Internet???

Colleen said...

I don't mind the magnets since 99% of them are supporting important things (our troops, our boobs, our children with various disorders). And the only items I have on my car are in the back window...an American flag and a Ball Statue alumni sticker. Both are static clings so that I can take them with me when I leave that POS on the highway someday. Oh, and I have obnoxious vanity plates...only $10 more per year in VA, baby!

blissfullycaffeinated said...

Word.

Unlike yours, my car is a filthy disgusting mess and yet -- I would NEVER put a sticker of any sort on it. Not even if my kid is on the freaking honor roll.

You know what I hate more than honor roll bumper stickers? The Calvin peeing sticker. You know waht I'm talking about, right?

Why? WHY?