Bumper stickers have always fascinated me. When I was young and hip, I used to attach them to my car (that oh-so-hip Subaru Justy I drove in those days). Mine were usually clever advertisements for my alma mater or political statements. These days, Bob’s and my cars are bumper sticker free. We considered putting the “Eat my voltage” sticker on the Prius (it came with it when we bought it), but we never did.
So, I’m a true voyeur now when it comes to this particular sort of adornment, and I have to admit they're becoming quite boring and unoriginal. Political bumper stickers merely announcing who you’re going to vote for/have voted for don’t cause a stir in me. Actually, I’m lying about that. There was a period when a “Bush” sticker would cause me to rethink my pacifistic, be-kind-to-others-on-the-road nature. Now, however, when I see one of those, which have become quite rare, I just think, “So, now that Bush has been in office so long, can you no longer afford the razor blade and nail polish remover you need to get that thing off, which does nothing but announce you voted for a filthy rich, arrogant idiot, who couldn't care less about you and your average income?”
Anyway, usually political bumper stickers don’t do much for me. They have to be extremely clever. Bumper stickers announcing college affiliations only grab my attention when I see a car that has about five different ones on it and find myself thinking, “Those poor parents with all those kids, forking out all that money.” Well, that’s what I think if they’re on the bumper of a beat up old Subaru station wagon. If they’re on the back of a Ford Excessive with tinted windows, I’m more likely to muse, “They deserve it. Hope all their kids flunk out, and they end up in the poor house with nothing to show for it.”
I hate those bumper stickers that brag about how Johnny is an honor student. Whatever happened to the days when such bragging was considered crass, and, besides, who really cares? Tell me your kid loves to windsurf, wants to be on Broadway, has become a vegetarian. Those are things that might make me want to stop and have a conversation with the child. I couldn’t care less if he/she can make good grades in a screwy educational system. Worse, though, are the ones that announce, “My kid beat up your honor roll student.” That’s supposed to be funny? I ask that question, because I fear what’s even worse: it’s true. Many honor roll kids get picked on enough without parents supporting that old schoolyard tradition.
Then there are those who like to sport the sticker that announces in tiny print, “If you can read this, you’re driving too close.” Obviously, they have no clue that there are those of us out here for whom the written word serves the same purpose a bright light does for a moth. If I see it, I have to read it. If you hadn’t slapped the ridiculous sticker there, I’d still be half a mile back instead of riding on your bumper right now.
Religious bumper stickers seem to be very popular. Again (says the future pastor’s wife), what happened to the days of considering these sorts of things to be private matters? I’m pretty sure not many conversions occur, because someone’s driving along and sees a “Jesus Saves” sticker on someone else’s car. One of the most amusing ones I saw recently just flat out said, “God is Pro-Life.” When I got over my feelings of wishing I was so sure of what God is, I found myself thinking, “Oh really? Where is this person getting his information? I mean, if you read The Bible, you’ll come across such things as The Flood, in which God just decided to kill almost everybody. You’ll discover people were killed merely because they carried The Ark of the Covenant incorrectly. These sorts of events don’t exactly point to a “Pro-Life God.”
I’m also somewhat amused by the “I brake for animals” bumper sticker. I mean, I really don’t know many people who don’t. It’s kind of like announcing, “I brake for red lights.” What do the people who stick this on their cars think: they brake, while the rest of us just plow right on through that cow, hoping to grab a good steak on the way out?
So, most of them bore me. Still, I’m a voyeur, always on the lookout. Every so often, one catches my eye and really turns me on. Problem is, like most one night stands, I never seem to be able to remember them.