When I was little, I remember my mom holding on to every sticker that came our way and each and every one of them, without exception ended up finding its way to our refrigerator door and nest there for a few years, gaining layers and layers of paper and glue due to the nesting of other stickers that eventually took precedence over the original stickers. It didn’t really bother me because well, I was little and I cared more about the goodies inside the refrigerator than I did about the overall appearance of the thing. It is only now, years later, when things like making your bed and not leaving your clothes laying around are part of my daily routine not only because I’m sort of a grown up and that’s just how things are supposed to be, but mainly because it actually pleases me. I don’t like clutter. A couple of refrigerator magnets are cool but when the damn thing is covered with magnets, pictures and stickers to the point where you actually have to pause for a second to find the door handle, it’s a problem.
I feel the same way about cars with bumper stickers. It’s completely unnecessary. At least when you’re cluttering up your fridge at home, you’re the only one looking at that atrociousness. When you do that to your car, you’re making everyone else look at it. What’s the point exactly? Are these bumper stickers a reflection of your unique personality that you’re so very eager to share with strangers in traffic? Or perhaps you want to tease the strangers on the freeway because naturally, everyone that passes by will be like “Awwww maaaaan, that’s a really cool bumper sticker. I bet that person is super-duper awesome. Too bad we had to part ways via different exits and therefore lose the chance of being friends in real life….”
Here’s how I see it. Displaying your character traits via putting shit on your vehicle, bumper stickers are pretty much right up there with obnoxious color/size rims and/or sound systems that you not only hear from a mile away but also feel with your whole body three blocks away. Trust me, whatever message you’re trying to convey isn’t coming across the way you want it to unless you’re trying to show the world how annoying you are, in which case, you’re right on point.
So. Let’s cruise through some of the public announcements that you’ve decided to unleash upon humanity, meanwhile tarnishing not only the paint on your vehicle but also your credibility as a human being.
- THE FUNNIES – I’m funny I swear! My bumper stickers prove it. Here’s one – “Lost your cat? Try looking under my tires”. Yes, because claiming that you’re driving around, running over innocent animals is hysterical. Don’t get me wrong, I talk about letting my cat starve because she’s useless on a daily basis, but it’s funny because she’s MY cat, and no matter how stupid she is, I’d never actually do anything to harm the damn thing… Here’s another one. “Don’t get your hopes up. My other car is a Hummer.” That one actually is pretty funny. Any implication of a penis is funny especially if it’s a tiny penis compensated by ownership of a huge vehicle. It’s funny, except now your car is covered in infantile sticky pieces of paper… How about this one? “Dance Like Your Vaginas On Fire” – The only reason that is funny is because it’s missing an apostrophe and well, it mentions a vagina. Vaginas are almost as funny as penises. But…. As funny as vaginas and penises are, bumper stickers still suck. Dance like your vagina’s on fire? First of all, if your vagina was on fire, you wouldn’t be “dancing”. Second of all, you shouldn’t be dancing while operating a vehicle. Lastly, dancing vaginas are very distracting and could cause drivers around you to get into accidents. Gosh! Don’t you care about other people at all?
- THE HONK IFS – Another driving distraction. You should only honk if it is to alert another driver of something important. “Honk if you’re not wearing any underwear” is not important. It’s not like it’s gonna get you anywhere. You’re just an idiot driving around with no underwear, making noise. “Honk if you’re drunk”. Seriously though, why would you want to bring attention to yourself? Oh oh I get it. It’s for your own amusement. Because a drunk person driving behind you is going to see your clever bumper sticker and be like “Hey! That’s meeee, I’m drunk! HONK HONK”. Reality check, that drunken person behind you is too focused on making the two blurry lanes into one to be able to read your tiny message. So at the end of the day, your “clever” bumper sticker quite literally has no use.
- THE INSTIGATORS – I saw one the other day that said “I dare you pigs to pull me over”. HA! How many tickets do you think that guy needs to get before he realizes that his gluey paper outburst isn’t getting him anywhere? That’s a very blatant way of throwing it out there that you’re looking for trouble. Or how about this one? “Not Worth Stealing”. Really? That just makes me want to steal your shit. That’s literally equivalent to “Do not open this door”. Of course everyone who comes across that sign is gonna be like “Holy shit, what’s behind that door, I must open it now”. Rookie mistake.
- THE STICK FIGURES – I drive a minivan and it comes with a bunch of stick figured family members and I want to share that with the world because I know everyone cares about this. Also, every time a family member is added, it must be reciprocated with a new sticker. Oh and let’s not forget our pets cause they’re part of the family too. The dog makes it on the minivan. Got a new cat! Here’s a sticker! Aww the dog died… And the sticker comes off. But it forever leaves a sticky memory, unless the stick figure stickers owning family has the heart to scrub Cooper’s remains off the van that is.
- THE TABOOS – Politics and Religion; probably the most important ones. Have you learned nothing growing up in a f*cked up, opinionated, judgmental society? Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut. Believe what you want. Vote if you will. Don’t vote if you… Won’t. Love Jesus. Don’t love Jesus. Follow Buddah on Twitter. But whatever you do, do not complain/discuss anything that’s even remotely related to politics/religion with those whose views you’re either unsure of or are so different from yours that you’ll either want to punch their face in or end up getting punched yourself. For every one reasonable person out there who’s willing to actually listen and reciprocate with an educated/thought-through/unbiased response, there are at least twenty unreasonable f*cks that will not only bash your reasoning with a virtual two by four but also slam your head against the heaviest rock they can find in their closest vicinity. Sure, 86% of statistics are made up on the spot, but you know what? Regardless of statistics, it’s basic common sense to not anger the beast. The beast in this scenario is Society. Society is the wild, untamed freak which can either pleasantly surprise and cuddle you or pounce on you and eat you alive. You don’t know which one it’s gonna be so you hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Having said that, putting things like “I Heart Obama”, “Support Trump”, “Life’s a Bitch, don’t vote for one” and “Jesus is coming for you and your sins” on your Honda is not the brightest idea . Are you trying to get your windows broken? Seriously, believe what you wanna believe, support what you want to support, but publicizing shit like that no matter how reasonable/unreasonable it may be is guaranteed to get a rise out of somebody and then ‘Bye Bye car’. Now I ask you, is throwing your opinion out there via BUMPER STICKER worth the agony you’re bound to endure when someone of different opinion but similar hardheadedness decides to oh I don’t know, throw a rock at your Trump Sticker, all because of a point you were trying to throw into thin air? Didn’t think so.
Granted, no one is forcing you to pay attention to people’s bumper stickers. At the end of the day, you and only you can control whether or not these people’s poor choices that are so vividly displayed for everyone’s viewing actually affect you. Personally, the effect they can have on me varies. If I’m having a good, nonchalant kind of day and birds are chirping, I have no problem ignoring your need to destroy your car’s coating by sticking a message on it. It’s your car – whatever. However, if I’m already annoyed by something, chances are I’ll probably get annoyed at your inane bumper sticker message, and hey, that’s on me. Ultimately, bumper stickers to cars are like name tags with glitter writing to coats. No thanks, but you do you.