Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Nation of Bumper Stickers

In Britain you can’t always tell someone’s politics or outlook in life from a first meeting.

In America it’s easier. You just look at their car.
This morning I was parked behind a hulking great black pickup truck in the Lowe’s parking lot and I noticed a U.S. Army sticker on it. Another bumper sticker read: “Proud to be defending my religion and my gun.”

 
well who would ever dare to suggest you did?


The pickup also had a “Choose Life” sticker and a “Don’t Tread on Me” License plate featuring a rattle snake.

Immediately I formed a mental picture of the driver of this vehicle and it wasn’t as somebody who bounces through fields, patting fluffy bunnies on the heads crying out: “Ooo let’s check out the new Andy Warhol exhibition.”

I did some more research on the rattle snake license plate. Fox News, appropriately enough, states: “The Gadsden Flag, originally used by the U.S. Marine Corps during the American Revolution, was meant to represent the 13 original colonies and their battle for independence from the British monarchy. It has recently been adopted by some Tea Party groups as a message against big government.”
 
 
You won't have that many if you continue to starve them
 
Now personally I am affronted by the Tea Party's hijacking of tea because we all know the decent tea was taken east with the British withdrawal.

Last week I had to write a piece about a church in Virginia Beach and saw a car which also featured the Gadsden Flag license plate along with bumper sticker that stated: “Don’t Blame Me. I voted for Romney.”

 
I felt rather smug at the fact I was able to correctly match the congregation member to his vehicle due to his menacing side burns and general demeanor.

 
Back in the Lowe’s parking lot I saw a much smaller car bearing the stickers “I brake for turtles” and “Coexist.” I developed a very different mental picture of this car owner to that of the black pickup. Maybe I could get them together in the same room some time.

 
The other type of bumper sticker that amuses me is the achievement one. We are probably all familiar with “Proud Parent of an honor student at xx,” or “My Daughter is in the Navy.” There’s also the one about someone whose dog is brighter than your honor student. Some of these bumper stickers are so desperate it makes you feel sorry for the owner.



 
“Proud parent of student who can write her name in cursive at Western High” or “My Sister Holds Down a Job as a Janitor," comes to mind.

 
The other car adornments that amuse me are the stick families. I mean serious WTF?

 
Recently I saw one with the normal stick person format that read: “I couldn’t care less about your stick family.”

 
I mean really. So you can push out 4 kids. Give them a few more years and you’ll be telling the world how they almost made honor roll.

 
I wouldn’t say Americans wear their hearts on their sleeves, but they certainly do on the backs of their cars.



 

26 comments:

  1. A few do, yes, my sons bumper stickers make me cringe! Don't know where he gets it - neither hubby or I like them. We're a nation of braggers, or fools, or both! :)

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  2. I usually have my car stickers purchased prior to buying the car. I'm probably the only American with a Canadian flag sticker that says 'Victoria'. I used to have one that said, 'sorry I missed church but i was busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian'. That got a lot of feedback by other drivers. My ex had a lot of very inflammatory political (anti-Bush/republican) stickers on his truck. But my old Toyota...that was a thing of beauty. It was plastered with Grateful Dead stickers.

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    1. I do rather like the one about witchcraft and becoming a lesbian JoJo

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  3. You got me laughing with the "Proud parent" examples. I never understood the stick figures, never tried to. Are they trying to say they're a family of anorexics, so don't offer any food less you have celery sticks to spare?

    Be well, David.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Yes Robyn - it's actually an anorexic's cry for help xo

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  4. I want to get one which says 'Honk for Hollande Démission'... or something... :)

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    1. erm not sure that one would be understood over here :)

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  5. Don't want the stickers of that type, though I think they are fun. Always wanted a large Snoopy sticker for the door of my car.... sigh...

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  6. Oh, bumper sticker people. I've been annoyed by both sides. People with creepy redneck ones, like the ones you mentioned here, and then also the uber liberal vintage Volkswagons adorned with equally as obnoxious (although less frightening) sentiments. Crazy people are on both ends of the spectrum, unfortunately.

    I have a funny bumper sticker story. In high school, there was this arrogant (yet, quite attractive) athlete who was extremely popular and he thought he was a total bad ass. Always bragged to his friends during homeroom about scoring with girls. When his grandmother died, his parents proudly gave him her car. But he couldn't get this one bumper sticker off of it, no matter how hard he tried. So he had to drive to school and pick up his chicks in a 1996 beige Ford Taurus that had the bumper sticker: "Never drive faster than angels can fly." Remembering that always puts a smile on my face.

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    1. lol - that's not a great one to pick up chicks with - bit like 'I love bunnies'

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  7. I totally cracked up about the starving stick figures LOL. I absolutely hate those and don't see why people think the person driving behind them cares how many children they have. Narcissism at its finest.

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    1. time to start a national campaign against stick folks Julie...

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  8. I've never put bumper stickers on my car because I didn't know how easily they came off. I've also seen the stick figure sticker where zombies were eating and chasing the family. XD

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    1. well the zombie one sounds cool Patricia

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  9. Have you seen the t-rex eating the stick figure family stickers yet? That's my favorite. Your stick figure family was delicious.

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    1. I haven't but I rather like the idea Jean..

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  10. HA HA! You make me laugh. Can you imagine having these stickers in the UK? You'd probably get your car rammed! We already hate people who fill their cars with fluffy toys. "Like get off the road you numb nuts"

    I've seen these stick figure bumper stickers in America and thought "Eh?" I don't get it. Why do you want random strangers driving behind you to know how many kids, dogs or cats you have? Bonkers.

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    1. the UK is so much poorer without the Juliette..err um. First time I saw stick folks I was like WTF?

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  11. We think everyone cares!

    I had a magnetic bumper sticker for the Minnesotans United for All Families when I was volunteering for them and someone stole it! They wanted to brag about my involvement apparently. Heh

    Admit it though - you have the stick family on your car yes?

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    1. god you have rumbled me Deborah - down to two stick guinea pigs..

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  13. I admit using custom stickers sometimes its there way of showing their points of views.

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